Chaining the stages of a process

Cement production comprises 5 stages, started from mixing materials and ended with packaging.

This writer has attempted to combine three sentences in one:

  1. Cement production comprises 5 stages.
  2. Cement production starts with mixing materials.
  3. Cement production ends with packaging.
Before we continue, do you know why I chose the photo of daisies for the featured image of this post? Answers in the comments box below!

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Starting with started from

Certain steps should be followed in making a business plan, started from establishing mission objectives, undertaking a position analysis, identifying and assessing strategic options, selecting strategic options, and formulating plans.

In this sentence the first comma splits the sentence into two halves: Continue reading

Describing transformational change(s)

The farmland was transformed become residential areas.

I have written elsewhere about how Indonesian IELTS candidates often use become to talk about a constant, where in English it is only ever used to describe a change. However, although become is used to describe a change, we would not use become AND transform together. Continue reading

Unreasonable use of ‘reason’

The reasons that caused land degradation are shown in the pie chart.

One problem here is that reason is closely synonymous with cause, and so it’s as though you’re saying:

  • ..the causes that caused land degradation!”

Another problem is that reason has stronger collocates:

  • The reasons for land degradation are shown in the pie chart.
  • reason(s) + for + effect(s) noun
  • The reasons why land became degraded are shown in the pie chart.
  • reason(s) + why + effect(s) clause

Notice that in these last two examples there is no cause effect signal (cause). If you use a cause effect signal then you need a more suitable substitute word for the cause or reason:

  • The factors that caused land degradation are shown in the pie chart.
  • The conditions that led to land degradation are shown in the pie chart.

In your IELTS Task 1 essay you will go on to name and describe factors and conditions, and this is easier to do elegantly if you call them ‘factors’ and ‘conditions’ than if you call them ‘reasons’.