Tagged: prepositions

Reaching a peak in IELTS Task 1

ūüė¶ In general, the 6pm news¬†reached its peak for almost 5 million viewers per day in the first month.

This is actually quite communicative and in IELTS this sentence might give you a satisfactory score for TA. However, the language problems would leave you with a much lower score for GRA and for CC.

  1. It¬†doesn’t make sense to signal¬†this statement ‘In general’, because it’s not general. It features data values taken from the x and y axes of the graph. Better to put this information in the detail section of your essay and signal it “In detail,”.
  2. You need to¬†treat¬†‘reach a peak’ as a phrasal verb. If you want to change the tense – and the tense will most likely be past simple tense – then you can modify ‘reach’ (past: ‘reached a peak’). Otherwise don’t mess with ‘a’ and don’t mess with ‘peak’.
  3. The preposition ‘for’ is not right.

So, if you really are making a general statement, do this:

In general, the popularity of the 6pm news reached a peak in the first month.

If you want to mention detail, then do this:

In detail, the 6pm news reached a peak of almost 5 million viewers per day in the first month.

Pay careful attention to this pattern:

something + reached a peak (+ of + value x) (+ time expression)

If you don’t believe me, check out these examples!

And whatever you do, don’t write ‘reached the peak’! That applies to climbers only, where ‘the’ refers to the mountain they happen to be climbing at the time!



The tunnel passed by the sperm?!

ūüė¶ The fallopian tube is a tunnel which will be passed by the sperm on its way to the egg.

This ¬†might be possible if all the sperm does is pass by the entrance to the tunnel without actually entering it. But¬†then it won’t be on its way to¬†the egg, it will be on its way somewhere else!

If you want to say that the sperm enters the tunnel, travels along it and then meets the egg, you need to use a preposition that carries that meaning:

ūüôā The fallopian tube is a tunnel which the sperm passes through on its way to the egg.

Compare these situations:


A > B: The sperm passes through the tunnel.
C > D: The tunnel is passed by the sperm.
D > E: The tunnel is passed by the sperm.

flag-of-indonesia¬†Indonesians take care when you’re translating¬†melalui,¬†melintasi, menyebrangi,¬†and¬†melewati.