Anna from Sweden, Joan from Hong Kong and Rosselle from the Philippines share their secrets on how to succeed in the IELTS reading paper.

Language level

Intermediate: B1


I am really dejected about the "Passive sentence" of this "Active sentence" = I know him.

One of my friends told me that "He is known to me" is not a passive sentence. He said that it is like this "He is industrious, or he is intelligent". "KNOWN" IS ADJECTIVE HERE.

I am really confused about this sentence. Even we know that "in passive" the word "Know" is followed by preposition "To". Is it not a passive sentence?

I know him. He is known to me..

Hello maqsoodahmedmagsi,

'He is known' can be both subject + verb + adjective and a passive construction, so you're both right in a way. But your friend is right that in 'He is known to me', 'known' is an adjective. If it were a passive construction, you might see, for example, 'by' used to indicate the agent, but actually 'known' isn't usually used in the passive that way, so I can't give you an example that isn't artificial.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Please Kirk tell me if this statement is correct using there is: "In most streets, there is a pharmacy, minimarket, a vegetable and fruit shop and laundry service."

Hello maryjane,

Especially in informal speech, it's possible to use the singular form 'there is' with plural subjects, as in your sentence. In more formal contexts, such as most writing, you could use 'there are' or personally, I would probably try to avoid the issue by changing the sentence structure to something like 'Most streets have a pharmacy, a minimarket ...'

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Krik want to improve my English skills for IELTS

Hello HaYa11,

I can recommend a couple of resources to you. One is TakeIELTS, which has loads of general information, advice on how to prepare and even some free practice materials. You might also want to consider taking an IELTS preparation class at the British Council in Pakistan if that is convenient or possible for you.

Good luck!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

I want to improve my oral English, what can I do? i live in China, no english envionment is allowed to pratice.
I learn English on my own all the time, not for exam, just in order to i can speak is enough.

Hello Kinlon,

I'd suggest you try to find an English teacher or class to improve your speaking. The British Council in China might be able to help you, or you could find a teacher at another school.

You can also use LearnEnglish to improve your speaking. There's some advice on how to do this on our Frequently asked questions page. Just speaking English to yourself while you are at home, going about your normal daily activities, can help a great deal with your fluency and can help you to feel more confident, which will help you to cut down your hesitating.

You can also use the audio and video materials here on LearnEnglish to improve both your listening and speaking. After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading). Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency.  You'll also pick up a lot of language as chunks – words which are often used together in set phrases – which you can use to communicate with less hesitation. I hope those suggestions are helpful. 

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you! Kirk. I appreciate

Hi every body,
I would like to improve my writing skill, I study as much as possible but unfortunately my writing has not enhanced yet ,furthermore I don't know how is it possible to get this.