April 5, 2010

5 Sentence Tips for the IELTS

1) A sentence consists of a group of words, one of which must be a verb. The verb is the action or doing word. The person or thing doing the action is the subject of the sentence. The subject is either a noun or a pronoun. A complete sentence must therefore have a subject and a verb.

2) Complete sentences are also called independent clauses. They are independent because they do not need anything else in order to be a sentence. Dependent clauses, on the other hand, are not complete sentences. They depend on something else to make complete sentences.

3) The difference between a clause and a phrase is that the former has a subject and a verb, while the latter either doesn't have a subject or doesn't have a verb.

4) In the IELTS, be careful of incomplete or fragmented sentences. There are only three instances when fragments could be used.

a) Fragments are sometimes used effectively for emphasis.
Example: Jenny thought she heard some birds outside the living room window. She carefully walked to the window and opened it. Yes! She was right.

b) Fragments are also fine if you're writing informal dialogue because fragments are, in fact, a common part of everyday speech.
Joshua asked, "Bacon for you? I have some I don't want."
"Sure." Andrei replied.

c) Fragments could be used with some exclamations and interjections.
"Oh, no!" I left my bag!

5) Also in the IELTS, make use of compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences if you want high marks.


Next are punctuation tips, starting with those relating to the use of a period.