😦 The experience I got from this job has strong contributions in changing my character from employee to leader.
This is a word that has been borrowed from English and is now used in Indonesian as the noun kontribusi. However, it’s difficult to find a verb that collocates with the noun contribution in English. Certainly you would not use ‘have’ + ‘contributions’. In English, contribution usually appears before the verb, as the subject of a sentence. In addition, contribution (subject) often refers either to money or to the efforts of a person or people. In the example above, however, experience and changing are both abstract nouns where one is the cause and the other is the effect.
If you want to communicate cause effect then you need the verb form contribute. There are still collocation issues, but heck – that gives you something to show off in your IELTS writing, right?
The experience I got from this job has contributed greatly to changing my character from employee to leader.
- cause (n) + contributes + (adv) + to + effect (n)
- greatly (adv) collocates strongly with contribute (v)
Remember that when both nouns are abstract, contribute to behaves as a cause effect signal. This is a relatively low-frequency signal and is therefore a good signal to use in IELTS writing as an alternative to the more common verb cause.
Contribute to is also weaker than cause and is therefore useful when you want to express less than 100% certainty:
- Greenhouse gases cause global warming. (Strong – implies no other causes)
- Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming. (Weaker – implies there may be other causes)
Using weak verbs is one of several strategies for weakening debatable claims. I deal with other strategies in other posts. You can find two more strategies here.
😦 Euthanasia may be one of ways to deliver health resources fairly to people who still want to live.
This is a direct translation from Bahasa Indonesia: ‘salah satu’.
For every noun in English it is important to communicate one of three meanings:
- One of many
- All of them everywhere
- This one exactly
In the opening example the writer communicated successfully. However, the sentence is gramatically incorrect. If you really must use ‘one of’ then you need more grammar:
- Euthanasia may be one of several ways to deliver.. (‘several’ behaves like ‘many’)
- Euthanasia may be one of the best ways to deliver.. (‘one of’ + the + superlative adjective + plural count noun)
You can see how easy it can be to introduce grammatical error, or to choose the wrong word to follow ‘one of’! A much easier and far more common way to communicate ‘one of many’ is using the indefinite article ‘a’ (or ‘an’) – NOT ‘one of’.
Want to communicate one of many? Use the indefinite article:
🙂 Euthanasia may be a way to deliver health resources fairly to people who still want to live.
For more examples of article use, click the articles tag.
😦 Students can take a break while they are studying in college for refreshing.
This word has been borrowed from English and used in Indonesian as a noun. However, in English ‘refreshing’ is not a noun, and the closest noun available is ‘refreshment’, but this is used almost exclusively for food and drink.
‘Refreshing’ is an adjective:
- Students can take a refreshing break while they are studying at college.
- Taking a break while studying at college can be refreshing.
Refreshed and refreshing
IELTS candidates are often asked to explain why they enjoy certain activities, for example going to the beach at the weekend. In this case both the adjectives ‘refreshing’ and ‘refreshed’ might be used:
- Going to the beach at the weekend is refreshing.
- When I go to the beach at the weekend I feel refreshed.
Refreshing and refreshed follow the same rule as bored and boring, where the __ing form is for the source, and the __ed form is used for the receiver:
- I feel refreshed. (receiver: I)
- Going to the beach is refreshing. (source: Going to the beach)
Finally, you might use the verb ‘refresh’:
- I go to the beach at the weekend to refresh myself.
Notice that in this case you must include an object: refresh myself. Also notice that when you’re explaining why you do something, you use to + V1 (not for).
Check out these other examples of ‘refreshing’.
😦 People call this as the ‘big data era’.
In Bahasa Indonesia disebut (called) collocates strongly with sebagai (as). Not so in English. Indeed, sebagai is often redundant in English, except when it collocates with certain verbs.
The correct options here are:
- People call this the ‘big data era’. (active call without as)
- This era is called the ‘big data era’. (passive call without as)
- This era is known as the ‘big data era’. (passive know with as)
Most native speakers would probably use number 1, except when the term being introduced is somehow scientific:
Liquids tend to travel quickly along very narrow spaces. This phenomenon is known as capillary attraction.
Be careful. If you want to use known as then you need to begin with some of the defining characteristics of the ‘known’ phenomenon:
Recently data has become so complex that traditional data processing application software is inadequate to deal with it. This data is now known as ‘big data’.
Indonesians.. Once again, be careful with sebagai! It collocates differently in English.
This is a common mistake made by Indonesians translating ‘tanya’ instead of ‘minta’.
The options in English are (take a deep breath!):
- I’ll ask the waiter. (ask someone)
- I’ll ask the waiter to bring us the menu. (ask someone to do something)
- I’ll ask the waiter about the menu. (ask someone about something/someone)
- I’ll ask the waiter for the menu. (ask someone for something)
- I’ll ask for the menu. (ask for something/someone)
Most native speakers would probably use Number 5.
Notice that ask something is not in this list. The picture below shows what might happen if you ask the menu!
Possibly there are different ways to translate the correct forms into Indonesian. I know that I’m never confident when using tanya and minta in Indonesian. If you have any suggestions, please share in the comments box below!
😦 I experience the same problems with you.
This is direct translation from Bahasa Indonesia (sama dengan). It’s not incorrect but I’m fairly certain it’s not what you mean!
In English when you want to say that things are the same, the collocation is usually same as:
I experience the same problems as you.
In this case you experience problem X, problem Y and problem Z, and I also experience problems X, Y and Z. We both experience the same problems, and we are sharing our problems with each other, as friends.
Same with communicates quite a different meaning:
I experience the same problems with you.
In this case I experience problems with somebody else – for example someone lies to me and never helps me – and I experience the same problems with you – you also lie to me and never help me!
Very often this is expressed using ‘it’:
That person always lies to me and never helps me, and it’s the same with you.
Most of the time you mean same as, so think carefully next time you write same with!