Cost or costs?

In the metal and mining sector, companies are facing significant problems (Hopwood, 2018). For example, they face increasing production cost due to the rapid development of new mining technologies.

Like much basic vocabulary in the field of economics, cost is a difficult word! First of all this is one of those words that can be countable and uncountable, and secondly there are some usage peculiarities with each. Continue reading

Conjunction sandwich

Alternative methods rely on variables that cannot be controlled by airlines, with overbooking, airlines have more control over related parameters.

The grammar problem in this opening sentence is explained in the video below.

Watch the video, and then – in the comments box at the bottom of this post – re-write the opening sentence based on the advice givien in the video!

Continue reading

Past and present importance

Indonesia and Australia have concluded their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) in August 2018.

Sometimes past events, although finished, are somehow important in the present, and we can communicate this importance using present perfect tense, often in conjunction with related time expressions.

Continue reading

The workforce in IELTS

In fact, palm oil plantations cover huge hectares of land which often requires a significant amount of workforce to pick the heavy oil palm fruit.

Words like amount and number are used to communicate statistics, as in the amount of electricity, the number of deaths, etc. The same is true of workforce: Continue reading

Predicting that X will probably change Y

The IA-CEPA is predicted to stabilise diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Predicting a change that does not take an object

If you want to say something will change, without mentioning the thing that will be affected by the change (the object of the change), then the writer of our opening example is using the right structure: Continue reading

Why these and not those?

These days a lot of people like to use smartphones and tablets. Those are popular because they can connect to the Internet.

OK so our writer is using those as a substitute for smartphones and tablets. However, it would have been better to use these: Continue reading