How To Write a Complex Sentence in IELTS Writing?
IELTS aspirants often find the Writing section challenging, and they believe that by using complicated sentences in IELTS, they will be able to achieve a 7+ band score. They are aware that they must use complex sentences, but they are unsure what complex sentences entail. Hence, they sometimes make errors and lose marks when attempting to compose unnecessary complex sentences.
Let’s first understand why writing complex sentences is necessary.
When you look at the IELTS Marking Criteria, you’ll see that:
To get a band 6 in grammar, you should use a combination of basic and complex sentences. Similarly, for band 8, it says you must use a wide range of complex sentences. However, it does not imply that all of the sentences must be complex. Moreover, all of the band 9 responses contain a combination of basic and complex phrases. Knowing when to use them is the secret.
Now, let’s find out what complex sentences are.
A sentence is a structure consisting of a series of words describing emotions, thoughts and situations. The definitions, structures, verb position, and verb forms vary between sentence types, and there are various sentences in English according to their structure. There are three types of sentences: simple, composite, and complex.
A simple sentence contains the most fundamental elements of a sentence: a subject, a verb, and a completed thought.
Example: I looked for Jhanvi and Riya at the bus station.
My sister slept all day.
We drink coffee every morning.
A compound sentence is made up of two separate clauses (or full sentences) linked together by a coordinating conjunction.
coordinating conjunction are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so
Example: I went there, but I couldn’t find him.
As Fatima walked towards the office, she realised she forgot her lunch.
A complex sentence comprises an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses connected to it. A dependent clause is identical to an independent clause or complete sentence, but it lacks one element that would make it a complete sentence.
Example: Don’t leave the restaurant until the bill is paid.
When Uncle Joseph comes to the Church, we all have a good time.
How to write a complex sentence?
A properly written ‘Complex Sentence’ is a full sentence that contains a lot of detail. As a result, the candidate’s English language abilities are demonstrated by writing a “well-structured” and correct statement. In addition, using a wide range of sentence structures reflects the candidate’s mastery of grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, and synonyms.
Use Subordinate Clauses
My brother felt sick because he ate too many chocolate bars.
My brother felt sick. (simple/independent clause)
He ate too many chocolate bars. (dependent clause)
So we’ve got the independent clause, which is only a single sentence initially, and then we’ve got the dependent clause, which gives us more detail. And we linked it with what we call the conjunction ‘because’.
I will take my dog to the vet before I go to the library.
Aman went straight home after school because he was hungry.
Use Relative Clauses
A relative clause is a kind of subordinate clause that modifies, adapts, or represents a noun. Relative clauses use a relative pronoun such as who, that, or where to add information to sentences.
They arrested the man who spied for America.
We visited the village where my grandparents lived.
That was a day when everything went wrong!
- The relative clause comes after the noun.
- There must be an independent clause. After the main noun, we add the relative clause.
- The verbs must be in agreement, whether singular or plural.
- If the information is extra, add commas.
- If the information is essential, don’t use commas.
Where can complex sentences be used in Essay Writing?
Well, complex sentences can be used anywhere but particularly good for topic sentences or as supporting sentences. Nevertheless, they provide a good opportunity to be able to display your grammatical knowledge. So, in the test, don’t suddenly start trying to stuff complex sentences. Rather practise it so that it looks natural.