Week 1

PICTURE DESCRIPTION: Writing a meaningful sentence

It is really important when writing your picture descriptions to keep it nice and simple. The best way to approach these questions is to:
  • Describe what’s happening in the picture, no more, no less. Avoid getting fancy or adding unnecessary words or descriptions.
  • Figure out what is missing in the sentence, and fill in the blanks. Ask yourself:
    • what kind of words are given?
      (noun? verb? object? subject? conjunction? preposition? adjective? adverb?)
    • which words are not present and need to be added to make a meaningful sentence?
  • Use both of the words given.
  • Write ONLY one sentence.
  • Use proper S-V-O word order.
  • Choose the right verb tense.


For each question, take time to reflect on the words that are given to you. You can change the form of the word as well as the word order, so try not to get stuck in how the words are presented to you. For example:

have / from

She has taken a cookie from the shelf and is eating it.

clap / crowd

The street is very crowded with people shouting and clapping.


The two words you are given will fit into different categories. It’s very important to decide what kind of words are given, and what other words you’ll need to add to make a relevant sentence. After reading the two words, decide what kind of words they are. Choose from the list below:
  • subject
  • verb
  • object (direct/indirect)
  • modifier (adjective/adverb)
  • preposition
  • conjunction


Here are some exercises you can do to practice identifying the given and missing words.
  • Decide what kinds of words are given to you.
  • Decide which words you need to add.
  • Use both words in your own possible sentence by adding the missing parts.
  • For example: children / because
  • GIVEN: noun / conjunction
  • POSSIBLE SENTENCES: The children are smiling because they have ice cream. These children are running away because the woman is chasing them.
Answers and some sample sentences that use both words effectively.

Please note that the sentences below are offered as SUGGESTIONS only, and by no means indicate a ‘right’ answer. There are plenty of possibilities with all the word combinations.

  • GIVEN: noun / preposition

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: This girl is holding two books in her hand.

  • GIVEN: noun / noun

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: The woman is using a cell phone.

  • GIVEN: adjective / verb

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: This couple is looking at some expensive jewelry.

  • GIVEN: noun / preposition

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: The cars are driving through a tunnel.

  • GIVEN: verb / conjunction

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: This child is wearing a bathing suit so that she can go surfing.

  • GIVEN: noun / conjunction

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: He is sleeping in the library because he studied too hard.

  • GIVEN: verb / conjunction

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: While standing on the sidewalk, this man dropped his papers.

  • GIVEN: noun / conjunction

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: This man is doing a presentation for his coworkers.

  • GIVEN: noun / preposition

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: This girl is riding on a school bus.

  • GIVEN: conjunction / verb

    POSSIBLE SENTENCE: These women are smiling while looking at the camera.

Writing Topic

1. Picture Description
2. Email Response
From Korea Hydro and Electric Company
To Lee Hyung Soo
Subject Overdue notice
Sent April 18th, 12:14pm
Dear Mr. Lee

We are writing in regards to your personal account with Korea Hydro and Electric Company, account number 011 277 38421. Our records indicate that you are overdue in your payment for the months of January to April, 2008. Our files also show that we have sent you 4 notices already, with no response on your behalf. If you do not contact us or update your account before April 31st, we will be forced to cancel your account, and thus any service you are currently receiving from us.

We appreciate your business, and hope to clear this up as soon as possible to continue supplying you with the best service we can.

Kim Jung Hoon, Accounts manager

Respond to this email as though you are Mr. Lee Hyoung Soo. Apologize for the delay in your payment, provide an explanation as to why you have not paid in four months, ask ONE question, and make ONE suggestion as to how to resolve the problem.