Academic English not only for Indonesians
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Since the abolition of fuel subsidies, prices have been fluctuative.

Nice try! The IELTS examiner will understand that you are trying to make an adjective from the verb ‘fluctuate’ using ‘ive’. Normally this would be a good strategy, but there is no such word as ‘fluctuative’ and so this time you will receive a low score for vocabulary. (more…)

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For the sake of future generations

It is important to consider the negative effects for the sake of our young generation.

We like ‘for the sake of’, but not ‘our young generation’. It’s grammatically correct but doesn’t feel right. Therefore we probably have a collocation problem. (more…)

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Consider ‘consider’

First of all it is necessary to consider about unemployment. Unemployment is considered as a serious problem.

Indonesian flag This one is a quickie for Indonesians who feel a strong urge to insert ‘tentang’ after consider and ‘sebagai’ after the passive considered. (more…)

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Spend time _ing

At the weekend I like to spend my time to cook.

There are two problems here. First of all you are unlikely to spend anybody else’s time other than your own, so ‘my’ is redundant. Secondly, ‘spend time’ is much more commonly followed by _ing (gerund): (more…)

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Why is..?

Excuse me, why the answer to number 10 is ‘A’?

Excuse me, why is this grammatically incorrect? Here are some correct sentences: (more…)

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DishwasherS, vacuum cleanerS, etc.

Domestic work is made easier with the use of dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, and washing machine.

It doesn’t matter which dishwasher, which vacuum cleaner, or which washing machine, they all make domestic work easier, or at least so this claim seems to suggest. (more…)

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Wrong because of ‘because of’

These problems have become more serious because of the government have failed to end corruption.

Ok, so there’s a problem here because of ‘because of’!
It should read: (more…)

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A lack of ‘lack’

Indonesian students sometimes struggle because they lack of critical thinking skills.

It’s true that ‘lack’ collocates strongly with ‘of’, but only when ‘lack’ is a noun. When ‘lack’ is a verb, there is no ‘of’! (more…)

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Task 1 Past Perfect

Past perfect tense needs to be handled with care. It is most useful in the narrative genre and is seldom needed in Task 2 writing. However, Task 1 essays occasionally present an opportunity to use past perfect.
Let’s try an exercise! Follow my instructions carefully and attempt the tasks before reading my sample texts. (more…)

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Even though.. (but..)

Even the government has tried hard to control corruption, but bribery is still commonplace.

There are two problems here. (more…)