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sentence pattern

1. Talking about personal habits
Example question: What do you usually do in the evenings? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

I usually ... I often ... While I'm studying I usually

... Sometimes I .... As a rule, I ... Whenever I can I ... Don't say, "I will .." unless your meaning includes the word 'if' (or includes the idea of 'if' without using that word.) For example, the following answer is not correct: "What do you do in the evenings?" – "Well, after I have had my dinner I will usually watch some TV and chat with my parents."

However, the following answer is ok because it includes the idea of "if": "How do you usually get your news?" – "I usually get my news from the TV or the internet but sometimes, (if there's some special news that I'm interested in,) I'll buy a newspaper and read more about a topic (that) I'm especially interested in."

The word 'always' means 总是, not 经常.

2. Expressing likes and dislikes
Example question: What kinds of music do you like? 1. My favourite ... is ... 2. I like ... 3. I enjoy ... 4. I'm (quite/rather) keen on ... 5. I just love ... 6. I absolutely adore .... 7. I'm crazy about ... 8. I'm addicted to ... 9. I don't mind ... 10.As far as .... is concerned, I can take it or leave it. 11.I don't care too much for ... 12.My least favourite .... is ... 13.I dislike ... 14.I can't stand ... 15.I hate ... (extreme language) 16.I find ...


When you express your feelings, including your likes and dislikes, try to use facial expressions to accompany your words. When expressing strong feelings, place extra stress on the key word. These are shown in italics, for example, "I absolutely adore ..." The expression, "I absolutely adore ..." is more suitable for females to say. But males say that when talking about their girlfriend or wife. Only say, "I'm addicted to ..." if it's something that you do very frequently and almost can't control. For example, some boys are addicted to computer games. English speakers also say, "addicted" as an exaggeration, such as, "I'm addicted to the internet" or, "I'm addicted to chocolate – I eat some chocolate almost every day." Definitely do not say, "very like". (A Band 4 level mistake.) In English we do not say, "Very + verb". Instead, we say, "Verb + very much" or, "Very much + verb". However, for the verb, "like", it's better to say, "I really like spicy food" rather than, "I like spicy food very much" or "I very much like spicy food". In fact, it's ok to just say, "I like spicy food a lot".





3. Expressing reasons for likes and dislikes
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. ... because ... ... since ... The main reason I like...... is that it's ...... What I like best about ..... is ..... The thing I like best about ..... is ...... The best/worst thing about ... is ... I don't like that very much because it's too ...... That's because I find it ......

4. Expressing a preference
Example question: Do you (or, would you) prefer to travel alone or with others? (e.g., a friend) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. I prefer ... because My preference is ... because ... I prefer A to B because ... If I had the choice, I'd + V ... because ... (假设的话) If I had the choice, I'd rather + V... because ... (假设的话) If I have the choice, I'll + V .... (a real possibility for the future)


You can also say, "I (very) much prefer ...", "I certainly prefer ..." and "I definitely prefer ...". Never say, "I like both of them." or some similar answer. For example, most people like both rice and noodles. If I ask you which do you prefer, to say, "I like both of them" is a poor answer. In this situation, the suitable answer is: "I have no preference, really – I like both of them equally." 'Prefer' questions are also asking you to make some comparisons between two things. You should use some of the language of comparing when you give your reason(s) for your preference.



5. Comparing
Example question:

What are the differences between modern art in China and traditional Chinese art?
1. A is bigger than B. 2. B is not as big as A. You can also use some of these:
? ? ? ? ? ?

Use “much” as in, “A is much better / worse than B”. “A is not nearly as good as B.” “B is nowhere near as big as A” “A is not quite as important as B.” “A is almost as important as B, but not quite.” “In comparison to B, A is quite big.” comparison to B”. Or, “A is quite big in


“Compared to B, A is a lot bigger.”

6. Talking about recent changes = Comparing the recent past and the present

Example question:

Has your hometown changed much in the past few years? (e.g. 20 years)

Yes, it has. For example, ...

1. Today there are many more cars on the roads than there were thirty years ago. ( ... there are/is more_____ than there were/was ....) 2. The air pollution is much worse/much better than it used to be. ( ______ is more ____ than it used to be.) 3. Compared to thirty years ago, the population of the city has increased by about two million. about (Compared to thirty years ago, _______ has + 过去分词) 4. The population of the city has increased by about two million people in the last thirty years. (______ has + 过去分词 in the last thirty years) 5. More people today own a car than was the case thirty years ago. (More _________ today + present tense than was the case thirty years ago.) 6. Today, more and more people are living in high-rise apartment highhighbuildings whereas thirty years ago, we had very few high-rise apartments buildings in our city. apartments (Today ______ are + 现在分词 whereas thirty years ago + past tense) 7. More and more large-scale supermarkets are being built nowadays largebut there were very few of them in my hometown thirty years ago (More and more ________ are being + 过去分词 nowadays but + past tense thirty years ago.)

7. Contrasting

The question is usually 'a compare question'. When you answer one of these questions, you can use a contrasting statement. However, since the grammar of the comparing answers (see above) is more difficult, you will impress the examiner more by mostly using that, rather than by using contrasting statements. Example: "A is big but B is small." (____ is _____ but _____ is ____)

A contrasting statement has two parts and the second part basically repeats the first part in grammatical form but the idea expressed in the second part is the opposite idea to the first part. In the example above, the two ideas expressed are the adjectives 'big' and 'small' but you can use adverbs or phrases as well. For example, "He works quite slowly whereas I work quite fast" or, "I was on my way to work but he was on his way home." Of course, it's much better to add words such as 'quite'. For example, "A is quite big while B is rather small." Instead of 'but' you can use, 'while' or 'whereas'. It's possible but not necessary to include the expression, "on the other hand". For example, "A is quite big but, on the other hand, B is rather A small." The verb form doesn't have to be present tense – any suitable verb form is possible. When you speak a sentence with a contrasting statement, it is important to stress the words that are in contrast. For example: "A is quite big while B is rather small." The words 'big' and 'small' have the greatest sentence stress but 'A' and 'B' are also stressed.





8. Suggesting
Example questions: What would you suggest a visitor to your country see

and do? What do you think the government could/should do? How would you teach a foreigner to speak Chinese?

1. 2. 3. 4.

(suggest, I'd .... (suggest, say, recommend) .... Maybe/perhaps/possibly ... + could/ would/ should ... It might/may help if ....+ could/ would/ should ... It would probably + (be a good idea, be useful, help) if + past tense form of verb Notice that the word 'would' is usually used in this type of question. So, don't answer with the words, "I will ...". Instead, say, "I'd ..." Notice the grammar in this answer: "I'd recommend they visit the Great Wall and see the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian." The same verb form is used after the word, "suggest". Here's an example of #4, above. What do you think the government




could do about the pollution problem? "It would definitely help if the government encouraged alternate forms of electricity solargeneration, such as wind farms and solar-power." Notice that the
past tense, "encouraged" is used. Also notice that, instead of "probably" you can use, "possibly", "certainly" and "definitely".

9. Expressing Opinions
Example question:

incentive Do you think that children should always be offered an incentive (a reward of some kind) when parents ask their children to do something?

1. I think ... 2. I believe ... 3. I feel ... 4. Personally, I (think, believe, feel) ... 5. I tend to + (think, feel, believe) that ... 6. In my opinion, ... 7. In my view, ... 8. I've always + (thought/believed/felt) that ... always 9. I maintain that that... 10.I've always maintained that ... I've 11.It seems to me that ... It 12.I'm convinced that ... I'm 13.As far as I'm concerned, ... As 14.My view is that ... My

15.From my point of view, ... From 16.To my mind, . ... To 17.The way I see it, ... ... The 18.As I see it, ... As
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Don't say, "personally in my opinion". Don't say, "In my eyes". Use, "In my view", instead. Only use, "maintain" if the topic is something that you have discussed with others many times before. "Maintain" means you always express this opinion. It is not suitable to use, "maintain" if the question is something that you have probably never thought about before. And only use, "maintain" a maximum of once in the speaking test. Similarly, you should only say, "I firmly believe" when you are talking about a topic that suits a strong opinion and a topic that you have deeply thought about before. Your answers will be better if you include adverbs such as 'strongly', firmly', 'honestly', and 'personally'. Only use, 'frankly' when saying something that expresses a rather strong or firm opinion. As well as that, this opinion should be rather unexpected (for the person you are talking to) or something that you don't usually tell other people, like a 'small secret'. 'Frank' means 'unusually direct and honest'. For example, "Who's direct your favourite film star?" – "Frankly, I have no favourite film star because I don't watch many films."




10. Giving reasons for opinions
1. 2. 3. 4. ... because ... ... since ... The main reason I say that is because ... One of the reasons I say that is because ... that is because ... )

(One reason I say One


Don't use, 'as or, 'for to mean 因为 when speaking; they are too as' for' as for formal-sounding and unnatural.

11. Explaining

Example question: Why are many older people reluctant to learn computer learn

The reason why ... is because ... The main reason why ... is because ... One reason why ... is because ... One possible explanation (for that) is ... To understand why ....., you first need to ..... (understand, know, that) be aware that) 6. Well, it's like this. .... 7. You could look at it this way, ...

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Basically, "explain" means to give an answer to a "Why?" or "How?" question that is rather complex. You answer an "explain" question by speaking in some detail. In the first three examples above, you can qualify the verb, "is" by saying, "certainly is", "definitely is" or "surely is". If you don't know and are guessing the explanation for something, then your answer belongs to the Speculating language function, below. In this case, you could qualify the, "is" from examples 1 to 3 by saying, "possibly is", "probably is", "might be", "may be", or "could be". The language function of explaining is most common in Part 2 – every Part 2 topic asks you to explain something.




12. Speculating ( = guessing) when you don't know
(When talking about the present or the past) Example question: Do old people in China have opportunities to attend any

forms of classes?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Well, I'm not sure but ... Well, I've never thought about that before but ... I imagine ... I guess ... I suppose ... I'd say ... Since you're not sure, you can also use words such as, "maybe", "perhaps", "possibly", "probably", "it's quite likely that ...",

"it's quite possible that ...", "it's quite probable that ... ...", "may +V", "might +V", "could + V". (V = 原形动词) V 原形动词

13. Speculating ( = guessing) about the future
(Most commonly, how the future will change, compared to now.) Example question: How do you think the tourist industry (in China) will

develop in the future?
1. I predict ... + a noun predict 2. I (can) foresee ... + [a noun + 现在分词] or + a noun 3. I imagine / suppose / guess ... 4. ... will + adverb 5. ... be (present tense) likely to ... 6. There’ll probably / possibly be ... 7. We might see / have ... 8. ... will be + 现在分词 ... 9. ... might be + 现在分词 ... might tense/ 10.I'd be surprised if + past tense/past continuous tense I'd 11.I'll be very surprised if + present tense/past continuous tense tense/ I'll 12.I expect ... I

‘Adverb’ = ‘adverb of certainty’ = definitely / certainly / probably / possibly. Be careful of just saying, “will” with no adverb of certainty. 'Will', with no adverb is used in English to talk about something that you are certain about in the future. For example, ‘will’ is used in English to promise something to someone – “I’ll give you the money I owe you tomorrow.” Of course, some things are certain, for example, “China’s population will be bigger than it is now, thirty years from now.” You can emphasize your feeling of certainty about the future by saying, "certainly will", "will certainly", "definitely will" or "will definitely". However, you can use a simple "will" without an adverb to give your opinion that something ‘will definitely’ or ‘will certainly’ happen by including words such as, "I think", "I'm sure", "In my opinion", "I believe" etc. For example, "I believe that twenty years from now, China will have no people living in extreme poverty." The words, "...will surely" means, "I will be very surprised if this doesn't happen" = "I'd be very surprised if this didn't happen."




You could use "will surely" in the example above: “China’s population will surely be bigger than it is now, thirty years from now.”

Instead of ‘imagine', 'suppose' or 'guess' you could simply say, 'think' but it's not so impressive to the examiner just to say that. Include some comparative (比较) language when talking about the future. For example, "In twenty or thirty years, people will almost certainly be living longer than they do now, due to advances in medical science." "I foresee" is usually followed by + [a noun + 现在分词] or a noun. For example, "I foresee people working fewer hours per week in the future." And, using a noun, "I foresee a decrease in the number of hours people work per week." (Use, "people work", not "people will be working".) "I predict" is similar to "I foresee" in meaning but we usually use "will" after "predict". For example, "I predict people will be working (or, will work) fewer hours per week in the future." The noun usage after "I predict" is the same as for, "I foresee": "I




hours predict a decrease in the number of hours people work per week."
(Use, "people work", not "people will be working".)

#8 & #9 is the future continuous tense. Show the examiner you can say the following kind of sentence: "Thirty years from now, people

cars will almost certainly be driving electric cars and possibly we'll also have flying cars by then." Another example: "In twenty years, some people might be traveling to the moon for holidays."

An example of #10 is: "I'd be very surprised if people were still petroldriving petrol-powered cars thirty years from now." Type #11 is basically expressing the same idea as #10 and you could use them interchangeably. For example, "I'll be very surprised if people petrolare still driving petrol-powered cars thirty years from now." Using #10 or #11 will impress the examiner and help you get more points for grammar. (Only use this structure once in the test.) To help you think of ideas about the future of the topic you are discussing with the examiner, here are five suggestions: 1. Think about how the internet (or simply computers) will affect the future of that topic. For example, people will probably be buying many things on the internet in


the future and people will be studying more on the internet. 2. Think of science fiction (科学幻想). For example: flying cars or traveling to the moon for a vacation. 3. Think of recent advances in science and technology and extend these to the future. For example, cloning, genetic engineering, organ transplanting, wind and solar power, hydrogen-powered cars, electric cars, nanotechnology, robots, brain-wave controlled devices etc. 4. Think of how globalization might affect the future of that topic. For example, as the world becomes more of a "global village", people will be interacting with foreigners a lot more, leading to probable changes in international law, politics, language, social customs, business etc. 5. Think of how global warming might affect the future of that topic. For example, rising sea levels, the melting of glaciers (the source of many major rivers), greater extremes of weather, changes in agriculture, the extinction of some species, changes in disease patterns ..

See HERE for more detailed examples of the grammar when talking about the future.

14. Expressing plans, intentions and hopes for the future
Example question: What are your future work plans? (after you graduate) 1. I plan to ... 2. My plan is to ... 3. I plan on + Ving (动名词) 4. I intend to ... 5. I hope to ... 6. I'm going to ... 7. My ambition is to ... ... 8. My immediate goal is to ... 9. My ultimate (= final) goal is to ... 10.Ultimately, ... Ultimately,

11.Hopefully, ... Hopefully, 12.Ideally, ... Ideally, 13.I expect to ... I 14.I’d like to ... = I want to .. I’d 15.As an alternative, I might .. ... As 16.If all goes well, I'll / I should ... If 17.If everything goes according to plan, I'll / I should ... goes If 18.My dream is to ... My 19.It's always been my hope/plan/ambition/dream to ... It's 20.My heart is set on + Ving (动名词) My

Don't say, "I wish to", for example, "I wish to study in the UK." It's too formal. See the note about using, "will" in the notes for "Speculating about the Future". "Going to" combines two ideas – "I intend to" + "it almost certainly will happen". So don't use "going to" if you are not very sure that this will happen. It is similar to using "will" but "will" only has the meaning of, "it almost certainly will happen". For example, the following sentence is not very suitable: "I'm going to get a degree in Accountancy in Australia". Many things could happen to cause this not to happen and, after all, you first have to get your 6.5 in the IELTS test! The following is suitable: "I'm going to go shopping tonight"; or, "I'm going to sit for the IELTS test again in two months". "I want to" is ok but it just refers to your desire. A desire is not always the same as a plan or intention. Don't overuse, "I want to" when talking about your plans for the future. Don't use the word "can" or the word "must" when talking about the future. Instead, use "will be able to" and "will have to".





For example: "After I go to Canada I can practice more English" is incorrect. The correct sentence is, "After I go to Canada, I'll be able to practice more English". Similarly, "When I arrive in Australia, the first thing I must do is find a place to live" is incorrect. The correct sentence is, "When I arrive in Australia, the first thing I'll have to do is find a place to live"

15. Clarifying

1. What I mean is .. 2. My meaning is .... 3. In other words, 4. That is to say, ... 5. Let me put that another way. 6. To put that another way, ... 7. What I'm trying to say is .. 8. My point is that ... 9. More specifically, ... 10. For example, ... 11. For instance, ...

16. Explaining a word when you have forgotten (or don't know) have the word
..... "I can't remember the word but .... 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

it's it's it's he's it's it's it's

a thing that ... a type of ... something you ... a person who ... something like ... similar to ... kind of like a ..."

These sentences use the present tense because you are speaking in general. For example, "It's a thing, a tool, you use to put air into your bicycle tyre - you use it like this" (Show the action). (a bicycle pump)

17. Speaking in general
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. On the whole, .. As a rule, ... In general, Generally, ... Generally speaking, .. For the most part, ... Typically, Usually,

? ?

Use the Present Tense when speaking in general. Use plural nouns. Although singular nouns are possible in some cases, you will make fewer mistakes by using plural nouns. Examples:

1. "Boys like to play computer games but girls prefer to go shopping." 2. "I like dogs." "I like dog" is wrong and means, "我喜欢吃狗肉 我喜欢吃狗肉". 我喜欢吃狗肉 "I like dogs" means, "I like all dogs; this dog, that dog, whenever I see a dog, I like it." But it is unsuitable to say, "I like pandas" because you don't see different pandas in your everyday life. In this case, it is more suitable to say, "I like the panda" (= "I like the panda species"). 3. "Dogs are friendlier than cats but cats are cleaner than dogs." 4. "I usually get my news from the internet because ...." 5. 有人说 = "(Many) People say ..." (Not, "Someone said")

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