December 31, 2010

Phrasal verb: stick to (something)

"stick to (something)"

Meaning: continue doing something, limit yourself to one particular thing

Example: Your car will maintain a new look if you stick to a regular detailing regimen.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
break in
not care for (someone/something)
drop (someone/something) off
find (something) out
get back at (someone)

Idiom: sort of

"sort of"

Meaning: rather; somewhat

Example: We have to eat. I feel sort of hungry.


Last week's idioms:
be on the road
chow down
get out of hand

December 28, 2010

Idiom: keep (one's) fingers crossed

"keep (one's) fingers crossed"

Meaning: hope for the best

Example: I took the IELTS exam last Saturday. Results will be released in a few days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


Last week's idioms:
be on the road
chow down
get out of hand

December 27, 2010

Phrasal verb: hang up

"hang up"

Meaning: end a phone call

Example: Oh no! I was not able to give him the best route to the hotel before he hung up.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
break in
not care for (someone/something)
drop (someone/something) off
find (something) out
get back at (someone)

Idiom: have (something) down pat

"have (something) down pat"

Meaning: know/understand something completely and thoroughly

Example: You'll be taking the IELTS test soon. Be sure that you have it down pat.


Last week's idioms:
be on the road
chow down
get out of hand

December 24, 2010

Phrasal verb: get back at (someone)

"get back at (someone)"

Meaning: retaliate, take revenge

Example: I won't be surprised if she gets back at you for breaking her heart.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
pick (something) out
sort (something) out
take (someone) out
work (something) out

Idiom: get out of hand

"get out of hand"

Meaning: become out of control; become badly managed

Example: The security situation got out of hand when the protesters stormed through the palace gates.


Last week's idioms:
pull (someone's) leg
run down
sooner or later
a tightwad
with bells on

December 23, 2010

Phrasal verb: find (something) out

"find (something) out"

Meaning: discover

Example: Mateo and Lia tried to keep their relationship from their friends, but Sam found it out.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
pick (something) out
sort (something) out
take (someone) out
work (something) out

December 22, 2010

Phrasal verb: drop (someone/something) off

"drop (someone/something) off"

Meaning: take someone/something somewhere and leave them/it there

Example: Today, I have to drop my daughters off at school before I go to work.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
pick (something) out
sort (something) out
take (someone) out
work (something) out

December 20, 2010

Phrasal verb: break in

"break in"

Meaning: force entry to a building

Example: Burglars broke in last night and stole our coffee maker.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
pick (something) out
sort (something) out
take (someone) out
work (something) out

Idiom: be on the road

"be on the road"

Meaning: be traveling

Example: Try to call Cindy every morning. You won't be able to contact her during the afternoon because she'll be on the road.


Last week's idioms:
pull (someone's) leg
run down
sooner or later
a tightwad
with bells on

December 19, 2010

5 Tips for Evaluating and Challenging Ideas in IELTS Writing

Hello. Today you're going to read our tips when you encounter IELTS writing (task 2) questions that require you to evaluate and challenge ideas. Read on:

1. When you need to write about two distinct points of view, you should be able to:
- show both views
- assess the merits of each side
- dispute the view that you disagree with and substantiate the ideas you agree with via evidence and examples

2. It should be noted that you don't have to entirely defend one of the views. You could formulate your own view.

3. At all times, you must always state your view clearly, using reasons and examples. This applies whether you agree or disagree with a particular view.

4. If, on the other hand, if you don't entirely agree or disagree with the given views, remember to be explicit as to which parts of the views you agree with and which you disagree with.

5. In other words, always analyze the arguments for and against, then provide support for the views you side with and challenge those you dispute.

That would be all for now for our tips in IELTS writing. Next week a new series of IELTS speaking tips would be shared to you.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS writing tips:

December 17, 2010

Phrasal verb: work (something) out

"work (something) out"

Meaning: make a calculation

Example: Be sure to work out the cost of our services before we proceed to paint the house.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
get (something) back
hang out
look into (something)

Idiom: with bells on

"with bells on"

Meaning: very eagerly; with the feeling that one will have a very good time

Example: I'll be at Fiona's birthday party with bells on!


Last week's idioms:
get (one's) wires crossed
have/has ('ve/'s) got
in time
a low blow
nuts

December 16, 2010

Phrasal verb: take (someone) out

"take (someone) out"

Meaning: pay for someone to go somewhere with you

Example: Charles took me out for dinner. We then strolled around the park.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
get (something) back
hang out
look into (something)

Idiom: a tightwad

"a tightwad"

Meaning: someone who is very frugal and unwilling to spend money unnecessarily

Example: Jude is a tightwad because he didn't contribute a single centavo to our Christmas party fund.


Last week's idioms:
get (one's) wires crossed
have/has ('ve/'s) got
in time
a low blow
nuts

December 15, 2010

Phrasal verb: sort (something) out

"sort (something) out"

Meaning: organize, resolve a problem

Example: We need to sort our used clothes out so we could send them to our favorite charitable institution this Christmas season.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
get (something) back
hang out
look into (something)

Idiom: sooner or later

"sooner or later"

Meaning: eventually

Example: Learn the business now. Sooner or later you'll be taking charge.


Last week's idioms:
get (one's) wires crossed
have/has ('ve/'s) got
in time
a low blow
nuts

December 14, 2010

Idiom: run-down

"run-down"

Meaning: in poor condition; needing repair

Example: Why did you buy our neighbor's car? It looks really run-down.


Last week's idioms:
get (one's) wires crossed
have/has ('ve/'s) got
in time
a low blow
nuts

December 13, 2010

Phrasal verb: pick (something) out

"pick (something) out

Meaning: choose

Example: I'd pick out the high end car wax at the shelf.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
get (something) back
hang out
look into (something)

Idiom: pull (someone's) leg

"pull (someone's) leg"

Meaning: tease someone by trying to make her/him believe something that's exaggerated or untrue

Example: Don't believe anything that Mike has said. He could be pulling your leg.


Last week's idioms:
get (one's) wires crossed
have/has ('ve/'s) got
in time
a low blow
nuts

December 12, 2010

3 Tips for Providing Solutions to a Problem in IELTS Writing

Hello. Now we share with you some IELTS writing tips for questions that require you to provide solutions to a problem.

1. Write about the problem or the relevant causes of the problem. Always provide reasons and examples.

2. In this type of essay, not only should you discuss your solutions to the problem or cause of the problem, but you should also write about the results or the effects of your solutions.

3. Keep in mind that the solutions you suggest should address the problem/causes of the problem, then explain how your solutions could have practical implications in life. Also, give examples for the consequences you have mentioned.

Tips when you evaluate and challenge ideas in IELTS writing would be posted next week.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS writing tips:

December 10, 2010

Idiom: nuts

"nuts"

Meaning: crazy

Example: Are you nuts? No one ever goes to that place. It's very dangerous.


Last week's idioms:
wishy-washy
be on the go
chow
drag (one's) feet

December 9, 2010

Phrasal verb: look into (something)

"look into (something)

Meaning: investigate

Example: Team A is assigned to look into the theft reports in Central City.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
work out
break something
calm down
drop by/in/over
find out

Idiom: a low blow

"a low blow"

Meaning: a big disappointment

Example: Francis got upset. Losing all his money at the casino was a low blow for him.


Last week's idioms:
wishy-washy
be on the go
chow
drag (one's) feet

December 8, 2010

Idiom: in time

"in time"

Meaning: not late

Example: Fred's car joined the Manila Auto Show just in time.


Last week's idioms:
wishy-washy
be on the go
chow
drag (one's) feet

December 7, 2010

Phrasal verb: hang out

"hang out"

Meaning: spend time relaxing (informal)

Example: We could either visit Sharon or just hang out at my place.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
work out
break something
calm down
drop by/in/over
find out

Idiom: have/has ('ve/'s) got

"have/has ('ve/'s) got

Meaning: have/has

Example: Ricardo's got a Porter Cable 7424XP which he uses for car detailing.


Last week's idioms:
wishy-washy
be on the go
chow
drag (one's) feet

December 6, 2010

Phrasal verb: get (something) back

"get (something) back

Meaning: receive something you had before

Example: Giovanni got his special detailing brushes back from Sonny.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
work out
break something
calm down
drop by/in/over
find out

Idiom: get (one's) wires crossed

get (one's) wires crossed

Meaning: be confused or mistaken about something

Example: I visited Jill yesterday and discovered that she lives just across the library. Jack however claims that she stays in the next town. I guess Jack just got his wires crossed.


Last week's idioms:
wishy-washy
be on the go
chow
drag (one's) feet

December 5, 2010

3 Tips for Comparing and Contrasting Opinions in IELTS Writing

Hello. Now we're going to share some tips whenever you have to compare or contrast opinions, evidence, and implications in IELTS writing task 2. Here they are:

1. When you're asked to compare and contrast opinions or ideas, you have to discuss the similarities and differences between the said opinions or ideas.

2. Write clear and logical arguments. Do this by using phrases that signal contrast (e.g. "on the other hand"), similarities (e.g. "in the same way"), and effects/results (e.g. "as a result").

3. When the question asks you to discuss two different views and give your own opinion, choose any of these methods for your essay: (a) write something to the effect that you accept one of the views and disagree with the other, (b) write to the effect that you reject both views and that your view is the correct one, or (c) write to the effect that you accept the two views as correct, but only to a certain degree.

Next week you'll get to read our tips for problem-solution types of questions in the IELTS writing module.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS writing tips:

December 3, 2010

Phrasal verb: find out

"find out"

Meaning: discover

Example: Bob doesn't want to tell us where he hid the box. How can we find out?


Last week's phrasal verbs
pay for (something)
sleep over
take (something) out

December 2, 2010

Phrasal verb: drop by

"drop in/by/over"

Meaning: come without an appointment

Example: If you need microfiber towels for your car detailing project, feel free to drop in/by/over.


Last week's phrasal verbs
pay for (something)
sleep over
take (something) out

Idiom: drag (one's) feet

"drag (one's) feet"

Meaning: delay; take longer than necessary to do something

Example: You should have waxed that car a few hours ago. Why are you dragging your feet?


Last week's idioms
pull an all-nighter
run down
(Someone's) made his/her own bed; now let him/her lie in it.
tight-fisted
used to

December 1, 2010

Phrasal verb: calm down

"calm down"

Meaning: relax after being angry

Example: Everyone needs to calm down. We will receive our water rations within the hour.


Last week's phrasal verbs
pay for (something)
sleep over
take (something) out

Idiom: chow

"chow"

Meaning: food

Example: Have you tried the chow in the new canteen across the street?


Last week's idioms
pull an all-nighter
run down
(Someone's) made his/her own bed; now let him/her lie in it.
tight-fisted
used to