In IELTS Writing Task Two (the essay), you are asked to give 'examples from your own knowledge and experience'. This means that 'such as' is often used, but it is often used wrongly. We need to look at 'such as' closely. Here is the fourth of five ‘such as’ issues.
In a previous post, I mentioned that 'such as' is almost always followed by a noun.
I like [Noun/Something], such as [Noun/Something].
However, sometimes we don't have that first noun. We have a verb or adjective, or we have a noun, but it is an abstract concept, yet we still want to use 'such as' to introduce an example relating to that first idea. This usually means 'such as' must be followed by a preposition to show the relationship between the ideas. Look at the following sentences.
- We need to relax, such as listening to music.
- This issue is very serious, such as African countries.
- Teachers worry about romance, such as students.
Here we have a verb ('relax'), adjective ('serious'), and abstract noun ('romance'). What preposition shows the relationship to the examples which follow? The rule is to pretend the 'such as' is not there, and fit in the correct preposition, just like you put a jigsaw piece into a jigsaw puzzle (see the picture above). So, what goes in the gaps in the following three sentences?
- We need to relax .... listening to music.
- This issue is very serious .... African countries.
- Teachers worry about romance .... students.
The answer is 'by', 'in', and 'among', giving the correct sentences ...
- We need to relax, such as by listening to music.
- This issue is very serious, such as in African countries.
- Teachers worry about romance in schools, such as among students.
Time to Practice
Now fix the following sentences.
- People need to work more, such as the weekend.
- Technology also creates stress, such as complicating life.
- People can obtain Internet services everywhere, such as coffee shops.
- Accidents are caused by unfamiliarity with guns, such as young children.
- People will live in space, such as the movie ‘Wall-E’.
- Teachers worry about relationships, such as students in high school.
- People can use Internet services, such as coffee shops.