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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 14: Termites


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0:13

Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.

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Today, we're going to talk about tenses, and different ways of making comparisons.

0:25

Choosing the best tense for formal writing, including your IELTS essay, is important,

0:31

and so is being consistent.

0:32

We're going to start by listening to an ecologist talking about termites in tropical Australia.

0:40

What verb tense does she use?

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This is another species of termite that we have here in the Territory, and this species

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is nesuta termes graviolis and as you can tell, it nests in trees and their nests are

0:54

nice and round around the higher branches of the tree, and then they build these little

0:57

runways, what we call carton runways, that run all the way from the nest, all the way

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down to the base of the tree, and the idea here is the termites just use them as shelter

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so they're not exposed to predators and not exposed to the hot sun. So they travel down

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through these tunnels and that allows them to access food resources on the ground.

1:15

So here in tropical Australia, termites are actually the major decomposer insect and they

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also play a really important role in conditioning the soil, much like earthworms do, so they

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help to turn over the soil, to create new soil and to increase the porosity of the soil.

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She says:

1:32

Termites are the major decomposer insect.

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They play a really important.

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They help to turn over the soil.

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She used the simple present tense form of verbs: are, play, and help.

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In IELTS writing tasks, the essay topics given are general and will require you to write

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about actions. The simple present tense would be the most appropriate verb form to use because

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you would be talking about general facts.

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Dr Dawes-Gromadzki was describing general facts about termites, so she used the simple

2:15

present. Listen again.

2:18

So here in tropical Australia, termites are actually the major decomposer insect and they

2:22

also play a really important role in conditioning the soil, much like earthworms do, so they

2:27

help to turn over the soil. She starts using the present tense, and then

2:32

continues with it throughout her description.

2:36

It's very important to be consistent in the verb tense you use. So when writing your IELTS

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