Relying on incorrect English language rules can handicap your IELTS efforts. It could prevent you from using sentence structures that are actually grammatically correct or lead you to applying faulty grammar rules. Here are some of the widely believed English language myths that you should be aware of:
1. MYTH: “None” is always singular.
FACT: “None” can either be singular or plural. Most people automatically see “none” as singular due to the belief that it is the shortened version of “not one.” However, upon further research, language experts discovered that “none” is etymologically derived from the Old English term “Nan”—a typically plural pronoun that means “not any number of things.”
Here is how you can determine if “none” is singular or plural:
• None is singular if it pertains to “no part” or “not one.” It can also be singular if it precedes a mass noun.
None of the coffee packs a punch.
• None is plural if it pertains to “not any” or a sentence follows a sense of plurality.
I called my classmates, and none of them are missing the IELTS review course.
2. MYTH: “E.g.” and “i.e.” are interchangeable.
FACT: “E.g.” means “for example” and “i.e.” means “in other words.” Here is how they are specifically used:
• “E.g.” is used to provide one or more examples to support a statement. It is derived from the Latin expression “exempli gratia,” which means “for example.”
When writing your essay, use easy-to-read fonts; e.g. Arial and Verdana.
Some of the test takers studying in the IELTS review center in Manila (e.g. Angelica and Eliza) are absent.
• “I.e.” is used to give more specific information about a statement. It is derived from the Latin expression “id est” which means “that is.”
My afternoon classes (i.e. Math and Science) are held on the fourth floor.
Her choice training facility (i.e. IELTS review center in Manila) has a high pass rate.
3. MYTH: The pronoun “they” is not applicable to an individual.
FACT: You can use “they” or “them” when referring to a gender-neutral individual. There are two instances where this can happen:
• When the statement refers to the general public, or there is no way to identify the gender of the person.
Somebody took my jacket, and they better return it soon.
• When (1.) referring to a member of the LGBT community whose gender-identity is unknown to the speaker or writer or (2.) referring to a person who prefers the pronoun “they.” This particular “they” rule is an emerging language trend in the today’s progressive society. In fact, many schools have policies that allow their students to choose what pronoun to be identified with.
Due to discriminatory policies, they were not allowed to attend their school’s prom because of their gender identity.
4. MYTH: It is grammatically incorrect to start a sentence with “hopefully.”
FACT: You can use “hopefully” as a sentence starter especially is its meaning is "it is hoped.” It would be grammatically incorrect if you used “hopefully” at the beginning of the sentence as the adverbial “in a hopeful manner.”
Examples:Do not cripple your chances of getting your desired band score. Consider these English language myths during your IELTS review. Do you want to debunk more grammar myths? Enroll in the IELTS review center in Manila and find out which misleading grammar rules are most likely to appear in the exam.
Hopefully, there would be no problems in the implementation.
Hopefully, the doctor can get there in time.
- Chak, Avinash. "Beyond 'He' and 'She': The Rise of Non-Binary Pronouns." BBC News. December 07, 2015. Accessed June 02, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34901704.
- "Debunking Grammar Myths." Mental Floss. May 05, 2008. Accessed June 01, 2017. http://mentalfloss.com/article/18565/debunking-grammar-myths.
- "Five Grammar Myths... and What You Should Do About Them." Intelligent Editing. Accessed June 01, 2017. http://www.intelligentediting.com//resources/five-grammar-myths-and-what-you-should-do-about-them/.
- "Top Ten Grammar Myths." Quick and Dirty Tips. November 18, 2015. Accessed June 01, 2017. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/top-ten-grammar-myths.