Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll be an insider as we discuss recent questions and answers from our 3 Keys Facebook group.

The students in our course stay highly motivated and more informed when they participate in this closed group.

Question 1: Regarding listening, a question said no more than 2 words, and I answered ‘smart phone‘ but the answer was ‘smartphone‘. Am I still correct?

Answer: No. Smartphone is one word, and that is the only correct way to write it.

As an IELTS student, it is useful to know compound nouns, as there’s no hard and fast rule about which are 1 word, 2 words, or contain a hyphen.

Reading a lot will help you become familiar, and remember, the common compound nouns in English.

Question 2For writing, how should I write numbers in English? I heard from 0 to 99, I should write out the words.

Answer: There are rules for when to use the numerical form, and when you should spell out the word.

The different style guides, like the APA and MLA have different recommendations.

A general rule to follow, though, would be to spell out the words for 1 to 9, but use the numerical form for numbers 10 and up.

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But, really, you wouldn’t be marked down either way in Task 2.

In Academic Task 1, however, always use the numerical forms, for all data, for consistency.

Question 3: What about complex grammar structures? Are they appropriate for an informal letter?

Answer: Yes, you still need complex structures here. It’s part of your Grammar score.

It doesn’t matter what piece of writing, or what part of speaking, you are communicating, you must have a range of sentence structures.

Question 4Is it correct to write ‘wouldn’t’ instead of ‘would not’?

Answer: You should not use shortened forms, like abbreviations or contractions, in Academic Writing.

In contrast, in an informal letter for General Task 1, you must use contractions to strike the correct tone.

Also, in Speaking, you must use contractions in Part 1 and 2; however, in Part 3, as the style should be more formal, you should use fewer shortened forms.

Do you have questions for us?

Ask them in the comments section below!

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