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This is my IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of car ownership from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Car Ownership

Car ownership has increased so rapidly over the past thirty years that in many cities around the world there are constant traffic jams.

How true do you think this statement is?

What measures can governments take to discourage people from owning cars?

It has become increasingly common in recent years for cities to be inundated with cars and, consequently, increased levels of traffic. In my opinion, this is a very real phenomenon and governments could do more to encourage other modes of transport.

There is little doubt that the main cause of traffic is more cars in urban areas. One natural consequence of a burgeoning global middle class is a rise in automobile ownership. This is reflected not only in statistics but also in the day-to-day reality of millions living in densely populated cities such as Los Angeles, Beijing, and London. The average person living in those cities must choose between sitting in traffic, using public transport, or residing near to their workplace. There is little chance this pattern will change in the future as many people see owning a car as a sign of social status and a mark of success in life generally.

Since most car owners will not be dissuaded by higher prices, the best method to combat traffic is to stimulate other kinds of transportation. Since most cities already possess public transportation in the form of buses and subways, governments can simply commit to maintaining and expanding existing options. A standout example of this would be the London Underground which has dozens of lines and is maintained to a high standard. Another pragmatic solution would be to encourage the use of bikes and motorbikes. Many European countries do this by providing free bicycles for short rides. In Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, urban planners provide lanes specifically for compact motorbikes where there is far less traffic than in the lanes for bulky cars.

In conclusion, there is clear evidence that cities are more crowded than ever before and the state can curb this trend by enacting policies to promote bicycles and motorbikes in cities. This is a crucial reform not only for quality of life but also the environmental impact.

Analysis

1. It has become increasingly common in recent years for cities to be inundated with cars and, consequently, increased levels of traffic. 2. In my opinion, this is a very real phenomenon and governments could do more to encourage other modes of transport.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. There is little doubt that the main cause of traffic is more cars in urban areas. 2. One natural consequence of a burgeoning global middle class is a rise in automobile ownership. 3. This is reflected not only in statistics but also in the day-to-day reality of millions living in densely populated cities such as Los Angeles, Beijing, and London. 4. The average person living in those cities must choose between sitting in traffic, using public transport, or residing near to their workplace. 5. There is little chance this pattern will change in the future as many people see owning a car as a sign of social status and a mark of success in life generally.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Add as much detail as possible.

1. Since most car owners will not be dissuaded by higher prices, the best method to combat traffic is to stimulate other kinds of transportation. 2. Since most cities already possess public transportation in the form of buses and subways, governments can simply commit to maintaining and expanding existing options. 3. A standout example of this would be the London Underground which has dozens of lines and is maintained to a high standard. 4. Another pragmatic solution would be to encourage the use of bikes and motorbikes. 5. Many European countries do this by providing free bicycles for short rides. 6. In Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, urban planners provide lanes specifically for compact motorbikes where there is far less traffic than in the lanes for bulky cars.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. This paragraph can be longer.
  6. Don’t repeat yourself.

1. In conclusion, there is clear evidence that cities are more crowded than ever before and the state can curb this trend by enacting policies to promote bicycles and motorbikes in cities. 2. This is a crucial reform not only for quality of life but also the environmental impact.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

It has become increasingly common in recent years for cities to be inundated with cars and, consequently, increased levels of traffic. In my opinion, this is a very real phenomenon and governments could do more to encourage other modes of transport.

There is little doubt that the main cause of traffic is more cars in urban areas. One natural consequence of a burgeoning global middle class is a rise in automobile ownership. This is reflected not only in statistics but also in the day-to-day reality of millions living in densely populated cities such as Los Angeles, Beijing, and London. The average person living in those cities must choose between sitting in traffic, using public transport, or residing near to their workplace. There is little chance this pattern will change in the future as many people see owning a car as a sign of social status and a mark of success in life generally.

Since most car owners will not be dissuaded by higher prices, the best method to combat traffic is to stimulate other kinds of transportation. Since most cities already possess public transportation in the form of buses and subways, governments can simply commit to maintaining and expanding existing options. A standout example of this would be the London Underground which has dozens of lines and is maintained to a high standard. Another pragmatic solution would be to encourage the use of bikes and motorbikes. Many European countries do this by providing free bicycles for short rides. In Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, urban planners provide lanes specifically for compact motorbikes where there is far less traffic than in the lanes for bulky cars.

In conclusion, there is clear evidence that cities are more crowded than ever before and the state can curb this trend by enacting policies to promote bicycles and motorbikes in cities. This is a crucial reform not only for quality of life but also the environmental impact.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

It has become increasingly common in recent years for it happens more and more

inundated with filled with

consequently as a result

increased levels of traffic more cars on the road

very real phenomenon actual development

encourage push, motivate

modes of transport way of getting around

There is little doubt that almost definitely true

urban areas cities

One natural consequence one real result

burgeoning global middle class more people with money

automobile ownership having cars and private vehicles

reflected mirrored

statistics numbers

day-to-day reality real life

densely populated cities such as urban areas with lots of people

average person normal person

sitting in traffic in gridlocked streets

public transport buses, metros, etc.

residing near to their workplace living near where you work

There is little chance this pattern will change in the future not much of a chance it will be different later

sign of social status shows how rich you are

mark of success in life generally shows you have done well in life

dissuaded by not encouraged

best method to combat traffic best way to reduce too many cars on the road

stimulate encourage

possess have

in the form of in the way

subways metros, undergrounds

commit to maintaining and expanding existing options support what is there already

A standout example of this would be a good instance is

London Underground the subway in London

dozens many

maintained to a high standard kept to a good level

pragmatic solution real fix

providing free bicycles for short rides giving bikes to ride around

urban planners provide lanes specifically for compact people who plan cities carve out places for small

far less traffic than in the lanes for bulky cars a lot fewer people than in the places where big cars are

clear evidence good support

crowded lots of people

state can curb this trend government can hold back this pattern

enacting policies to promote putting in place laws to help

crucial reform key change

quality of life standard of living

environmental impact effect on nature

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ɪt hæz bɪˈkʌm ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˈkɒmən ɪn ˈriːsnt jɪəz fɔː 
ˈɪnʌndeɪtɪd wɪð 
ˈkɒnsɪkwəntli
ɪnˈkriːst ˈlɛvlz ɒv ˈtræfɪk
ˈvɛri rɪəl fɪˈnɒmɪnən 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ 
məʊdz ɒv ˈtrænspɔːt
ðeər ɪz ˈlɪtl daʊt ðæt 
ˈɜːbən ˈeərɪəz
wʌn ˈnæʧrəl ˈkɒnsɪkwəns 
ˈbɜːʤənɪŋ ˈɡləʊbəl ˈmɪdl klɑːs 
ˈɔːtəməʊbiːl ˈəʊnəʃɪp
rɪˈflɛktɪd 
stəˈtɪstɪks 
ˈdeɪtəˈdeɪ riˈæləti 
ˈdɛnsli ˈpɒpjʊleɪtɪd ˈsɪtiz sʌʧ æz 
ˈævərɪʤ ˈpɜːsn 
ˈsɪtɪŋ ɪn ˈtræfɪk
ˈpʌblɪk ˈtrænspɔːt
rɪˈzaɪdɪŋ nɪə tuː ðeə ˈwɜːkˌpleɪs
ðeər ɪz ˈlɪtl ʧɑːns ðɪs ˈpætən wɪl ʧeɪnʤ ɪn ðə ˈfjuːʧə 
saɪn ɒv ˈsəʊʃəl ˈsteɪtəs 
mɑːk ɒv səkˈsɛs ɪn laɪf ˈʤɛnərəli
dɪˈsweɪdɪd baɪ 
bɛst ˈmɛθəd tuː ˈkɒmbæt ˈtræfɪk 
ˈstɪmjʊleɪt 
pəˈzɛs 
ɪn ðə fɔːm ɒv 
ˈsʌbweɪz
kəˈmɪt tuː meɪnˈteɪnɪŋ ænd ɪksˈpændɪŋ ɪɡˈzɪstɪŋ ˈɒpʃᵊnz
ə ˈstændaʊt ɪɡˈzɑːmpl ɒv ðɪs wʊd biː 
ˈlʌndən ˈʌndəɡraʊnd 
ˈdʌznz 
meɪnˈteɪnd tuː ə haɪ ˈstændəd 
præɡˈmætɪk səˈluːʃᵊn 
prəˈvaɪdɪŋ friː ˈbaɪsɪklz fɔː ʃɔːt raɪdz
ˈɜːbən ˈplænəz prəˈvaɪd leɪnz spəˈsɪfɪkᵊli fɔː ˈkɒmpækt 
fɑː lɛs ˈtræfɪk ðæn ɪn ðə leɪnz fɔː ˈbʌlki kɑːz
klɪər ˈɛvɪdəns 
ˈkraʊdɪd 
steɪt kæn kɜːb ðɪs trɛnd 
ɪˈnæktɪŋ ˈpɒlɪsiz tuː prəˈməʊt 
ˈkruːʃəl ˌriːˈfɔːm 
ˈkwɒlɪti ɒv laɪf 
ɪnˌvaɪərənˈmɛntl ˈɪmpækt

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

I___________________________________________r cities to be i___________________h cars and, c_______________y, i__________________________c. In my opinion, this is a v____________________n and governments could do more to e____________e other m______________t.

T_________________________t the main cause of traffic is more cars in u_________________s. O___________________________e of a b______________________________s is a rise in a___________________________p. This is r______________d not only in s___________s but also in the d_____________________y of millions living in d_____________________________________s Los Angeles, Beijing, and London. The a____________________n living in those cities must choose between s___________________c, using p__________________________t, or r_______________________________________e. T______________________________________________________________e as many people see owning a car as a s____________________________s and a m___________________________________y.

Since most car owners will not be d_____________________y higher prices, the b__________________________________c is to s_____________e other kinds of transportation. Since most cities already p_______________s public transportation i______________________f buses and s____________s, governments can simply c________________________________________________________________________s. A____________________________________________e the L____________________________________d which has d____________s of lines and is m___________________________d. Another p___________________n would be to encourage the use of bikes and motorbikes. Many European countries do this by p__________________________________________s. In Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, u_____________________________________________________t motorbikes where there is f__________________________________________________________s.

In conclusion, there is c_____________e that cities are more c__________d than ever before and the s_________________________d by e________________________e bicycles and motorbikes in cities. This is a c_______________m not only for q________________e but also the e___________________________t.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching from YouTube below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/worst-traffic-cities-in-the-world/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Driving

  1. Do you like driving?
  2. Where was the last place you drove?
  3. Where do you like to sit in a car?
  4. Is driving common in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topics below:

When cars and cyclists use the same roads, there are often problems.

Why is this the case?

What are the solutions?


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