😦 I drove to town this morning and got an accident.
This is a direct translation from Bahasa Indonesia: mendapatkan kecelakaan. In English you don’t ‘get’ an accident, you ‘have’ one.
If you say you drove to town and got an accident, it sounds as though you bought an accident, perhaps from a shop that sells accidents? Depending on the type of accident, you might need a very large shopping bag!
Admittedly the context of your sentence makes meaning clear, but if you want a high score for vocabulary in IELTS writing, try to use stronger collocation:
🙂 I drove to town this morning and had an accident.
Another song from eapguru – this time to practice the words ‘easy and ‘difficult’. See also this earlier post for further practice of these not-so-easy items!
A free handout with lyrics and tasks for students accompanies the song. The video features Indonesian EAP students preparing to study abroad. Enjoy!
😦 I keep my photos because they can memorise the moment.
But in order to memorise anything they would need consciousness, which is of course impossible. A photograph does not have a brain:
Only humans can memorise things, so perhaps you mean:
🙂 I keep my photos because they help me to remember the moment.
Be careful with ‘memorise‘. We don’t usually memorise ‘moments’. We generally memorise information, and this often requires continued and intensive concentration. For example if you want to remember somebody’s phone number, you must first of all memorise it. The memory of the number then stays in your head ready for the next time you need it. With a photograph, the memory might not stay in your head. Rather, you remember the moment whenever you look at the photograph. In this sense the photo acts as ‘a reminder‘.
Indonesians would do well to read through the previous paragraph and consider the translations of ingat and its forms, and also hafal and its forms.
😦 Of course I love my house. It has a yard. Actually it’s not a very wide yard.
Here an Indonesian candidate is translating ‘luas’ (lit. ‘wide’).
In English, ‘wide’ is one of several dimensions (including ‘long’, ‘deep’, etc.), and doesn’t really communicate the idea of overall size. If you tell me your yard is wide, I immediately want to know whether it is long. Then I might be able to decide whether it is big or small. For example, a yard might be 10m ‘wide’, but only 10cm ‘long’.
To communicate the idea of overall size – when speaking about the land next to or between buildings – it would be better to say:
🙂 Of course I love my house. It has a yard. Actually it’s not a very big yard.
More academic synonyms for ‘big’ might include ‘spacious’, ‘expansive’.
😦 Some people claim that working hours for labours in factories are too long.
Here an Indonesian student is trying to find a synonym for ‘worker’. Unfortunately the hierarchy of ‘work’ is labelled differently in English.
In English a ‘labourer’ (‘labour’ + ‘er’) does work that distinguish him or her from other kinds of worker:
- Labourers are usually unskilled.
- Labourers often have to use physical strength because their work requires them to lift and carry things.
- The work of labourers is generally outdoor work.
- Labouring is often dirty work.
- Labouring is not very well paid in most countries.
Here are some pictures of ‘labourers’.
If you want to use a synonym for ‘worker’ then try to consider:
- where the work takes place
- the level of skill involved
- the salary it attracts
These considerations will lead you to a more accurate label for the work you are talking or writing about. In IELTS a more accurate label is also likely to get you a higher score for Lexical Resource (vocabulary).
This dictionary entry offers a wide selection of labels for different kinds of work.
Other word forms and idioms
Labourer – the person (countable)
Labour – noun (uncountable, abstract meaning)
Labour – verb
Laborious – adjective (Sometimes skilled work can be ‘laborious’, especially if it requires physical effort or is repetitive).
Hard labour – A form of punishment used by tyrannical governments, often for political prisoners. If my work feels like hard labour, it’s very hard work!
In labour – Giving birth!
Labour over something – Work extra hard at a task.
😦 Some people believe that the existence of machines helps to generate more profit than loss.
This is a common translation problem for Indonesians. Keberadaan!
In English it is automatically assumed that things and people exist, unless otherwise stated.
🙂 Some people believe that machines help to generate more profit than loss.
🙂 Some people believe that the absence of machines can result in losses.
Incidentally, can anyone guess the names of the couple in the cover photo for this post, and why were they chosen? Comments below! 🙂
😦 In conclusion, long working hours are necessary for human beings.
I’m guessing this may be a cultural issue.
Let’s try a quick test. Which of the following sentences is NOT about working hours and humans?
- Long working hours are necessary for human beings.
- Long working hours are necessary.
- Long working hours are necessary for ants.
Hopefully you chose number 3. In any discussion of working hours, and indeed of many other topics, we’re usually talking about human beings, unless otherwise specified.
The only time we really need to mention humans is when we’re contrasting them with non-humans!