When it comes to acing the IELTS exam, a strong command of grammar is essential. Grammar plays a crucial role in the Writing and Speaking sections, and it can significantly impact your overall band score.
To help you improve your grammatical range and boost your IELTS performance, we’ve compiled five valuable tips.
1. Use Subordinating Conjunctions
Subordinating conjunctions are powerful tools for connecting ideas and enhancing sentence complexity. They introduce dependent clauses that provide additional information about the main clause. Incorporating subordinating conjunctions like “because,” “so that,” “although,” “while,” and “whereas” can elevate your writing and speaking. Here are some examples:
- Weak: “The cat was tired. It sat on the wall.”
- Improved: “Because the cat was tired, it sat on the wall.”
By using subordinating conjunctions, you demonstrate your ability to create more intricate sentence structures.
2. Use Relative Clauses
Relative clauses allow you to add descriptive details to your sentences, making them more engaging and informative. Instead of writing separate sentences, combine them using relative clauses to create a smoother and more sophisticated flow. For example:
- Weak: “The cat was sitting on the wall. It was being stroked by a girl.”
- Improved: “The cat, which was sitting on the wall, was being stroked by a girl.”
By employing relative clauses, you can avoid redundancy and showcase your ability to provide additional context in a single sentence.
3. Use ‘There’ + ‘To Be’
The structure ‘there + to be’ is a simple yet underutilized grammatical tool that can enhance your sentence construction. It forces you to reorganize your sentence, turning verbs into noun phrases and adjective phrases while altering word order. This effectively widens your grammatical range. For instance:
- Weak: “A cat was sitting on the wall.”
- Improved: “There was a cat sitting on the wall.”
By employing ‘there + to be,’ you demonstrate your ability to vary sentence structures, which can impress examiners.
- Weak: “From 1995 to 2005, sales fluctuated slightly.”
- Improved: “There was a slight fluctuation in sales from 1995 to 2005.”
This structure not only adds complexity but also improves sentence clarity.
4. Start the Sentence with a Subordinating Conjunction
To enhance sentence variety and demonstrate your grasp of grammar, consider starting sentences with subordinating conjunctions. This inversion of the typical word order can make your writing more dynamic. Instead of:
- Weak: “The cat was sitting on the wall because she was tired.”
- Improved: “Because she was tired, the cat was sitting on the wall.”
This technique can make your writing more engaging and help you avoid repetitive sentence structures.
5. Start the Sentence with a Prepositional Phrase
Prepositional phrases are excellent tools for initiating sentences, allowing you to provide context and details from the outset. Here are some examples:
- “Since the beginning of the afternoon, the cat had been sitting on the wall.”
By beginning sentences with prepositional phrases like “since,” “at,” “among,” and “about,” you demonstrate versatility in your writing, which can lead to higher band scores.
In conclusion, improving your grammatical range is a vital aspect of achieving success in the IELTS exam. By incorporating subordinating conjunctions, relative clauses, ‘there + to be’ structures, and variations in sentence beginnings, you can enhance your writing and speaking skills. Practicing these techniques will not only impress examiners but also boost your confidence in tackling the IELTS exam’s grammar requirements. So, go ahead and elevate your grammar game to secure the band score you desire.You may also like:
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