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IELTS Vocabulary: which sentence is best?

A student asked me which sentence I prefer from these two:

  1. There is an array of reasons for the proliferation of high amounts of waste disposal.
  2. There are various reasons for the rise in the amount of waste that we produce.

Although sentence 1 might look more 'difficult' (due to the use of arrayproliferation and disposal), I definitely prefer sentence 2.

The problem with sentence 1 is that it seems forced and unnatural:

  • "Array of reasons" is fine, although no better than "various reasons".
  • "Proliferation" and "high amounts" sound strange together. I would use one or the other, but not both.
  • "The proliferation of waste disposal" also sounds wrong to a native speaker. It isn't a collocation that I would expect to read or hear.
  • I think the topic would be about "waste production", not "waste disposal". The root problem is that we are producing more waste, not that we are throwing it away more often. The word "disposal" looks good, but for me it affects the coherence of the sentence.

I think this is a great example of what I said in Wednesday's lesson about having the confidence to keep it simple. When students try too hard to be difficult, they write unnatural sentences like number 1 above.

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