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Common errors in IELTS writing 1 – ‘Government’

Common errors in IELTS writing 1 – using the word ‘government’

Using the correct words in your IELTS test can make the difference between succeeding and having to resit the test, so make sure you’ve got the right word or phrase!

In this post, we will look at the use of the word ‘government’. Look at the sentences below. Is the use of the word ‘government’ correct or not?

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1. The Government should be responsible for providing free education to all citizens.

Show answer  This is not correct – when used in the middle of the sentence, there is no need for the word ‘government’ to have a capital letter – it’s not a proper noun, so only needs a capital letter when it starts the sentence.

2. Many people believe it is a government’s responsibility to provide a good standard of healthcare.

Show answer  This is technically correct. However, although the sentence may be talking in general, it is more natural to use ‘the government’.

3. It is the responsibility of the governments to collect taxes.

Show answer  This is not correct. The writer is referring to all governments around the world (hence the use of the plural ‘governments’), but this should be expressed as ‘It is the responsibility of governments to collect taxes’. OR  ‘It is the responsibility of the government to collect taxes.’

4. The government legislation should be put in place to ensure that all criminals are sent to prison.

Show answer  This is not correct. The use of ‘the’ here means that you are referring to specific legislation, but this legislation is not clearly given, so it should be simply ‘Government legislation…’

5. In addition to government’s laws, citizens should also feel morally obliged to keep their country clean.

Show answer  This is not correct and is a lot trickier to explain. This could have been expressed as ‘In addition to government laws, citizens…’ OR ‘In addition to the government’s laws, citizens…’

6. It would be more effective if the government enforced the laws equally, regardless of wealth or status.

Show answer  This is correct.

7. For instance, the government of Singapore has passed a law that each citizen should separate the waste and dispose in either in recycled or non-recycled trash bin.

Show answer  This is correct

8. It is therefore very clear that government should enforce strict legislation and raise public awareness against deforestation.

Show answer  This should either be plural (governments) or ‘the government’.

9. Without funding, cultural art centres would have to rely heavily on the government.

Show answer  This is correct.

10. It would be a better form of the government if people were allowed to make more choices for themselves.

Show answer  This is not correct. In this sentence, ‘government’ has been used not with the meaning of a particular group of people making decisions for the country, but general direction, control and decision making (as in ‘The school should be allowed to govern itself’).


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