Do you make these Common Mistakes in the IELTS writing test?

I have created a quiz to help you to see if you are making common mistakes in your IELTS writing. At the moment, it is only available by downloading a free app called Bookwidget:
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The code for the quiz is:Z73TB

Take the test to see if you might find my book ‘Common Mistakes at IELTS Intermediate’ helpful.

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Recent Comments

  • surgal
    7th March 2022 - 6:44 pm ·

    Dear Pauline,
    In the online Cambridge Dictionary, when searching the word “until”, it is used in two sentences to talk about distance. However, until should not be used to talk about distance. Instead, “as far as” should be used. Here are the examples.
    You should stay on the train until Manchester and then change.
    Stay on the bus until 57th Street and then walk one block west.
    Should not “as far as” be instead “until” in the above-provided examples? They both relate to distance.

    • monago1984
      7th March 2022 - 7:25 pm ·

      Hi Surgal, this is a good examples of why I often say you should learn more about the words you already know instead of adding more and more words to your vocabulary. The meaning given is one very specific context in both examples (giving directions or instructions for travel). Really, in both cases, the full meaning is ‘until you get to’, so the dictionary gives this use as meaning ‘as far as’ (so the the specific contest is only with distance). Does this help?

      • surgal
        8th March 2022 - 12:52 pm ·

        Thank you very much. Cambridge Dictionary does not provide any information that “until” can be used to give directions or instructions for travel. Instead it says that it is a typical error to use “until” in the context of “distance.” Yes, it has the meaning of “until you get to”, but it says using “as far as” with that meaning.
        Here is the explanation the dictionary provides;
        We don’t use until or till to talk about distance; we use as far as:
        We had to drive as far as Liverpool for the last hockey match that I played.
        Not: We had to drive until Liverpool … (this one is labeled as a typical error with until)

        • monago1984
          8th March 2022 - 1:28 pm ·

          What I meant is that the context is distance and travel (the two examples given are both people telling someone about how to get somewhere and when to change or stop). The second example (with the error) is not the same context. I wouldn’t rely on a dictionary to teach you about grammar – it can only give your meanings and show examples.

          • surgal
            8th March 2022 - 2:08 pm ·

            I agree but for the IELTS exam, Cambridge Dictionary and other official publications by Cambridge University Press are the reference materials both for learning and checking. Thank you.

          • monago1984
            8th March 2022 - 3:50 pm ·

            Absolutely, and I highly recommend it. However, I think you are expecting too much from a free online dictionary.

    • Pauline
      6th September 2018 - 8:41 am ·

      Hi Zakir, as announced on Facebook, I am still transferring over the necessary links. I am away at the moment and unable to access all of the links I need so this will take a few more days.

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IELTS Author Pauline Cullen

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