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IELTS Vocabulary: spend time on / spend time doing

One of the tasks in my ‘100 IELTS Flashcards’ ebook asks you to fill the gap in the sentence below.

They spend too much time _____ television.

Many people think the missing word is ‘on’ because they have learnt the phrase ‘spend time on something’. However, in this case ‘on’ is wrong. If you say that you spend time on television, it sounds like you are a TV presenter who actually appears on television. The correct answer is this:

They spend too much time watching television.

……….

Here are some more phrases with ‘spend time on‘:

  • I spent a lot of time on this essay.
  • We will spend an hour on grammar exercises.
  • He spends too much time on his video games console.

And here are some phrases with ‘spend time doing‘:

  • I spent a lot of time writing this essay.
  • We will spend an hour doing grammar exercises.
  • He spends too much time playing video games.

Source: https://ielts-simon.com/ielts-help-and-english-pr/2021/01/ielts-vocabulary-spend-time-on-spend-time-doing.html

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