formal

  • Formal language is used for more serious situations.
  • If we don’t know the people so well, we usually use more formal language.
  • Writing usually has more formal language than speaking.
  • However, speeches or lectures also contain more formal language.

Academic IELTS grammar for writing task 2

I put this advanced student sample answer to the IELTS writing task 2 through our English Grammar Profiler looking for stand out features.  Here are the highest grammar constructions, that we have listed as C1: It is argued that volunteering should be made a part of the school curriculum. (This is the topic sentence) What you have done outside the classroom is often …

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Academic IELTS grammar for task 1

I’m often asked by my students just before they take an IELTS test for some quick tips on what to study before a particular task.  Therefore, in this post, I will summarise the salient grammar and vocabulary features I found in very good introductions and overviews in the Academic IELTS  Task 1 tests using our …

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‘BUT FOR’ (third conditional)

We know that ‘but for’ + a phrase means except for or if it were not for. At C1, this structure can be combined with a ‘would have clause’  so it is similar to a past conditional.  All together this construction means “if it wasn’t for this thing that happened, then this other thing was …

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socially + acceptable | constructed | desirable : behaviour 8691

EXAMPLES: Social constructionists believe that things that are generally viewed as natural or normal in society, such as understandings of gender, race, class, and disability, are socially constructed, and consequently aren’t an accurate reflection of reality. thoughtco.com   He says it’s a school’s responsibility to tackle bullying early so that bullies, the bystanders or even victims don’t think that it’s acceptable behaviour to carry through into adulthood. my.asiatatler.com   Psychologists can provide insights about how to teach children to manage their behaviour in ways that are socially acceptable. edpsych.co.nz   His goal is to make the company more environmentally friendly and socially responsible. dictionary.cambridge.org   Therefore, we find that people tend to give socially desirable responses. TED ACL: acceptable behaviour socially acceptable|constructed|desirable|responsible EVP: acceptable B1 good enough C1 allowed or approved of: 2 examples of ‘socially acceptable’ iWeb: 1 SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE 8691 2 …

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accept | take | claim | assume + responsibility | blame

EXAMPLES: Children can learn about taking responsibility by watching their parents accept responsibility. PELIC STUDENT: Japanese female level 4 writing class.   I was called in to assume the responsibility. TED   It’s been so wonderful to look back  and see all of my former colleagues who’ve gone on to get doctorates and assume leadership roles in other organizations. TED   The first step in accepting blame is realizing that you have made a mistake and you deserve to be blamed. altruwisdom.com The English Grammar Profiler tool highlights the Academic Collocations List, allocating C2 value to most of them.  However, for each phrase we use, …

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academic + year | achievement | performance | success | research 68730

STUDENT EXAMPLE: During my first and second academic years, I never went to the library. Chinese female level 5 writing class. iWeb ranking: 1 ACADEMIC YEAR 68730 2 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT 21832 3 ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE 16841 4 ACADEMIC SUCCESS 16798 5 ACADEMIC RESEARCH 11633 6 ACADEMIC WORK 7408 7 ACADEMIC CAREER 7300 8 ACADEMIC COMMUNITY 6014 9 ACADEMIC STUDY 5326 10 ACADEMIC WRITING 5230 11 ACADEMIC INSTITUTION …

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abstract concepts 2856

STUDENT EXAMPLE: The professor tries to explain the abstract concept of freedom. PELIC Arabic male level 5 writing class The plural form is more common in iWeb corpus: 1 ABSTRACT CONCEPTS 2856 2 ABSTRACT CONCEPT 1883 further collocates in iWeb: 1 CONCEPTS 2978 2 AN 1170 3 SUCH 302 4 UNDERSTAND 183 5 CONCRETE 149 6 RATHER 102 7 UNDERSTANDING 101 8 ABILITY 74 …

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achieve * goal | objective | outcome 7428

EXPERT EXAMPLE: We achieved tremendous outcomes. TED STUDENT EXAMPLES: He had finally achieved his goal! EGP B2   We can achieve our objectives by using effective time management. PELIC Japanese female level 4 writing class. iWeb search: 1 ACHIEVE THIS GOAL 7428 2 ACHIEVE THAT GOAL 4188 3 ACHIEVE THE GOAL 3279 4 ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL 3276 5 ACHIEVING THIS GOAL 1989 6 ACHIEVE A GOAL 1844 7 ACHIEVE …

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in academic circles 571

FOR EXAMPLE: It was very popular in certain academic circles.   context Collocates in iWeb of ‘in academic circles’ 1 KNOWN 28 2 ESPECIALLY 17 3 DEBATE 14 4 POPULAR 12 5 DEBATED 11 6 LEAST 11 7 WIDELY 10 8 DISCUSSED 9 9 REFERRED 9 academic B2 circles A2 known A1 especially A2 debate B2 popular A2 debated C2 least …

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present perfect simple (range)

There is no listing in the English Grammar Profile for a ‘wide‘ range of main verbs with present perfect simple.  So, here’s an expert example of present perfect simple using academic collocation: In the course of my professional life, I have acquired knowledge and manual skill.    (linotype.com) Here are some general range points in the English Grammar Profile in the category of …

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DO + verb (imperative)

‘Do’ can be put before the imperative verb or auxiliary to make it less abrupt and more persuasive. Point 64 in the category of CLAUSES/imperatives is defined as: ‘DO’: base form of a main verb, for emphasis or in formal contexts A search in iWeb for: . Do _VVI 1 . DO NOTE 2681 2 …

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past perfect simple (inversion)

Point 85 in the category of PAST is defined as: invert the subject and affirmative auxiliary verb to talk about imagined situations in the past, often with regret, in formal contexts *although a following modal verb ‘could’ or ‘would’ is not mentioned in the description above, they do follow in the EGP examples. A search …

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‘It should be noted that’ (passives to summarise)

C1 point 36 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: ‘it’ as a dummy subject, to summarise or evaluate in discussions, usually in formal or academic writing. *This might clash with B2. A search of the formal patterns found in the EGP for the iWeb: it_P _V _VB _VVN that 1 IT SHOULD BE …

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It can | could + be + said | argued | concluded | considered

The pronoun ‘it’ can be used where the subject is unclear at C1, and verbs such as ‘conclude’ are only used by C1 learners.  For example: It was concluded that it never existed. However, this post is about reporting with modal verbs. C1 point 208 in MODALITY is defined as: ‘can’ in passive reporting clauses in a more formal impersonal …

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if you should

C1 points: 114 in CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: subordinate conditional clauses with ‘if you should’, in polite, formal contexts *Most of the English Grammar Profile examples include: ‘if you should have any’ (questions|concerns|problems) + don’t hesitate…’ Therefore, this is offering help or giving advice.  ‘should’ here gives a slight feeling of  ‘it is unlikely’ or …

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SHALL (predictions)

Here’s an example of using ‘shall’ to make a prediction: We shall have no peace until she goes. listen This post is another example of two overlapping grammar points found in two different categories in the English Grammar Profile.  Although they are worded differently, they can be used to describe the exact same examples. C2 point 71 in the category of FUTURE …

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