Unit 1: Understanding Speaking Test
Unit 3: Focus on Fluency & Coherence
Unit 3: Focus on Pronunciation
Unit 6: Focus on Lexical Resource
Unit 5: Focus on Grammatical Range & Accuracy

How to answer how has something changed?

IELTS speaking is very popular for asking you questions where you have to explain the process of change. Although there is no such rule that best describes the way of answering IELTS questions, it is always better for you to know some language tips on How to Answer how has something changed?

When IELTS examiner asks you such question they really have no interest on the content of your answer but construct. They just want to know weather you can use right grammatical structure.

First let’s see some questions under this category

» How have shops changed in your city in the last five years?
»
How has your hometown changed in recent years?
»
How have restaurants in your country changed since you were young?

Remember this formula

When the examiner asks you how has something changed? type questions, you must:

  1. Use simple present tense
  2. Control other present tense
  3. Use comparative adjectives

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Step- 1: How has something changed?

The Present Perfect

Language step 1: The Present Perfect
Let’s look at how Sandhya uses the present perfect tense.
Sandhya: I’m from Ho Chi Minh City and it has certainly changed a lot in recent years. Not so long ago, there were lots more low-rise buildings and narrow streets; now the local government has replaced them with tall apartment buildings…They have also put a lot more parks iii the city and have planted thousands of trees…

Notice that Sandhya uses the present perfect accurately to talk about changes that have happened.

Remember that the structure of the present perfect is: have/ has + past participle
She has invested lots of money in a KTV bar.
The government has spent lots of money on public transport recently.
The traffic situation has become a lot worse in the last few years.

Step- 2: How has something changed?

The Past Simple & Present Simple

Language step 2 The Past Simple & Present Simple
Let’s look at how Arvan use the past simple and present simple tenses.
Arvan: Not so long ago, there were lots more low-rise buildings and narrow streets …The streets are now much wider than before…the city is more beautiful.

This may seem like a very simple language point, but many students get a low score on the test for making basic mistakes with these tenses.

Look at some example sentences that use these tenses to talk about changes:
»
 My town was small; now it is quite big.
» The streets used to be very quiet; now they are noisy.
» The shops sold poor-quality clothes; now they sell the latest designer fashions.
» Before many people ate at small eateries or night markets, but now people choose more expensive restaurants.

Step- 3: How has something changed?

Comparative Adjectives

Language step 3: Comparative Adjectives
Let’s take a look at how this IELTS candidate, David, uses comparative adjectives.
David: …now the local government has replaced them with tall apartment buildings with better facilities…The streets are now much wider than before. They have also put a lot more parks in the city and have planted thousands of trees in the streets, so the city is more beautiful.

Notice how David uses a lot of comparatives to explain how their cities have changed and to express whether those changes are good or bad. This is a very important part of your answer, so now let’s review comparatives.

Comparative adjectives: We add -er at the end of the adjective, or we add more before the adjective.
To form the comparative of an adjective, you should:
add -er if the adjective is one syllable long.
add -ier if the adjective is two syllables long and ends in -y.
add more before the adjective if it is two or more syllables long.

Comparative structure
In comparing the past to the present, it is also useful to remember this structure:
X + is/are + comparative adjective + than + time in the past
»
 My city is prettier than it was ten years ago.
» The university library is much better stocked now than it was before.
» The city is a lot greener than it was when I was a child.

To Conclude: How has something changed?

Step 1: Use the present perfect tense.
Since I was young, my town has changed in a lot of ways.
Step 2: Control other simple tenses like past and present.
My town was small. Now it is quite big.
Step 3: Use comparative adjectives.
The streets are wider and the traffic is heavier than before