Common errors with the word GOVERNMENT


Using the correct words in your IELTS test can make the difference between succeeding and having to resit the test, so make sure you’ve got the right word or phrase! In this post, we will look at the use of the word ‘government’. Look at the sentences below, then read the comments below each one.


1. The Government should be responsible for providing free education to all citizens.

This is not correct – when used in the middle of the sentence, there is no need for the word ‘government’ to have a capital letter.


2. It is the responsibility of the governments to collect taxes.

This is not correct. The writer is referring to all governments around the world, but this should be expressed as ‘It is the responsibility of governments to collect taxes’. OR ‘It is the responsibility of the government to collect taxes.’


3. Governments should be held responsible for periods of economic recession.

This is correct, although it is more common to use ‘the government’, even when referring about more than one government.


4. The government legislation should be put in place to ensure that all criminals are sent to prison.

This is not correct. The use of ‘the’ here means that you are referring to specific legislation, but this legislation is not clearly given, so it should be simply ‘Government legislation…’


5. In addition to government’s laws, citizens should also feel morally obliged to keep their country clean.

This is not correct and is a lot trickier to explain. This could have been expressed as ‘In addition to government laws, citizens…’ OR ‘In addition to the government’s laws, citizens…’


6. It would be more effective if the government enforced the laws equally, regardless of wealth or status.


This is correct.


7. For instance, the government of Singapore has passed a law that each citizen should separate their waste and dispose of it in either a recycled or non-recycled trash bin.

This is correct.


8. It is therefore very clear that government should enforce strict legislation and raise public awareness against deforestation.

This is not correct. It should either be plural (governments) or ‘the government’.


9. Without funding, cultural art centres would have to rely heavily on the government.

This is correct.


10. It would be a better form of the government if people were allowed to make more choices for themselves.

This is not correct. In this sentence, ‘government’ has been used not with the meaning of a particular group of people making decisions for the country, but general direction, control and decision making (as in ‘The school should be allowed to govern itself’).


Return to the Unit Menu

Create your free membership!

Want to get the best out of our free site? Create a free membership now so you can keep a track of what you have studied and what you have left to complete. You’ll also get notified when new resources are added!

Create your FREE membership now!