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IELTS Preparation Series 1, Episode 2: Vitamin D


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0:02

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

0:20

Today, we're going to look at ways of discussing a topic. When you're writing or speaking,

0:26

you can present facts, or you can use your opinion - but how can you tell the difference?

0:32

Today we'll find out.

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We're going to listen to a scientist talking about Vitamin D and cancer.

0:40

In the clip, see if you can hear both facts and opinions being used.

0:47

I believe that the public health problem for vitamin D deficiency is quite significant.

0:53

I would estimate minimum 25% of adults in the United States, Europe and probably even

1:00

in Australia are vitamin D deficient.

1:04

I mean if you think about it, over 250,000 women in the United States will develop breast

1:09

cancer this year. Something like 50,000 will die. If 25% of those breast cancers could

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have been averted, prevented in some way, just by having a little exposure to sunlight,

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would have been really tremendous.

1:23

So he was talking about the links between vitamin D and cancer.

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Many Australians these days are avoiding the sun, because they know it can cause skin cancer.

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But by avoiding the sun, they're missing out on vitamin D - the vitamin that you get from

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sunshine, and this is leading to other health problems.

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When you're reading, writing or listening to an argument like this, it's important to

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be able to tell the difference between statements of fact, and statements of opinion.

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But how can you tell the difference?

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Well, there are a number of ways you can express your opinion.

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Today we're going to look at two of these: using phrases that express an opinion; and

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using modal verbs.

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First, let's look at some phrases.

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The key words to listen for when you're trying to decide whether someone is talking about

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facts or opinions are words like believe, think, argue, feel, opinion, or view.

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These vary from formal to informal.

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If I was talking with my friends, I might say, "I think" or "I believe"

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If I was in a class or tutorial, I might say, "In my opinion", or "in my view".

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But if I was writing an essay, or giving a very formal talk, I'd probably choose, "it

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is believed", or "it is thought".

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In formal writing, many people think you should avoid using the word 'I', even if you are

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giving an opinion.

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Here's the clip again. Listen for some of those phrases.

3:13

I believe that the public health problem for vitamin D deficiency is quite significant.

3:18

I mean if you think about it, over 250,000 women in the United States will develop breast

3:23

cancer this year. Something like 50,000 will die.

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