Advising a friend about a holiday: letter written by student with suggested corrections

An English-speaking friend wants to spend a two-week holiday in your region and has written asking for information and advice. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter :

  • offer to find somewhere to stay,
  • give advice about what to do,
  • give information about what clothes to bring.

The letter given below was written by a student and contains quite a few mistakes. Corrections are given after each paragraph. At the end of the essay you can also find an analysis.

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Model letter with corrections

Dear John,

How are you doing? Hope life is treating you well. You must be very excited for (1) your trip to India. You are gonna (2) love it because you are going there in the right time of the year. It is summer time there. You will love the heat.

Suggested Corrections

1. Write ‘excited about’

2. I don’t think students should write words like ‘gonna’, ‘wanna’ or ‘ain’t’. Of course, they are used in conversations, but it is risky to use these words in your IELTS writing. What if the examiner doesn’t share your liking for these words?

Hey listen, I have some information on some nice and cheap hotels. Because you are going towards the northern India, I suggest you to stay (1) in Delhi. The Taj hotel is one of the cheapest and best hotel (2) in the town; and it is close to many local attractions and its (3) only a few kilometers away from ‘The Taj Mahal’. It will take only 25 minutes on a bus. Also, Delhi is home to various forts and palaces, (4) do visit them because they will tell you a lot about the history of kings and emperors. You can do all this in the first week of your stay.

Suggested corrections

1. Write ‘suggest you stay’ or ‘suggest that you stay’.

This is a common mistake. Suggest cannot be followed by a to-infinitive. You can use a that-clause with or without should. Note that the ‘that’ in the that-clause can be left.

  • I suggest that you stay in Delhi.
  • I suggest you stay in Delhi.

OR

  • I suggest that you should stay in Delhi.

Because you are going towards northern India, I would like to suggest that you stay in Delhi.

2. The expressions ‘one of’, ‘some of’ etc., should be followed by a plural noun.

3. Write ‘it’s’. Its is a possessive word. It’s means it is or it has.

4. Wrong use of the comma. Put a semicolon or a full stop there.

 

In your second week, do visit my state- Punjab. Trust me, you will love it there (1). If you are going to Punjab, go to the Golden Temple which is in the Amritsar district. I can also offer you to stay at my home and enjoy my mom-made food (2). I am telling you, you do not want to miss that (3).

Suggested corrections

1. Write ‘you will love it’ or ‘you will love the experience/place’ etc.

2. Write ‘food cooked by my Mom’ or ‘our home-made food’. I don’t think that ‘mom-made food’ is standard English.

3. Write ‘I am telling you, you should not miss that’. OR Better still ‘Trust me, you will not regret it’

The last thing I gotta tell you is take (1) your summer clothes because it can get really hot. Don’t forget your sunscreen and a hat as well. Brace yourself for some serious fun.

1. Write ‘to take’

Yours lovingly,

Sunny

Analysis

This is a very good letter. The student has answered the complete question and there are very few errors. The student shows good command over the language and writes clearly and coherently. The style of writing is also good.

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