IELTS Grammar: Conditional sentences.

How to use zero, 1st, 2nd and 3rd conditionals (if sentences)

There are four kinds of conditional sentences. The zero conditional describes real or specific situations, while unreal Conditionals describe unreal, imaginary situations or hopes for the future. With unreal conditionals there is a difference in the likelihood of them happening, however, they don’t refer to the past. The 3rd conditional is for past regret, how something could be different or a past hypothetical situation.

Conditional sentences are very useful structures in IELTS as they are seen by the examiner as complex sentences and are often included in a natural conversation. This comes in very handy in the IELTS speaking section when talking about your daily life, talking about possibilities and expressing regret or a hypothetical past.

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IELTS Grammar: How to use complex sentences

Writing Complex Sentences in IELTS.

It is important to use some ‘complex sentences’ in IELTS writing task 2 otherwise you are unlikely to get a band 6.5 or above. However, not all of your sentences have to be  ‘complex’ you need to use simple sentences too.

Remember that grammar accounts for 25% of your marks in the writing tasks but there is some confusion in IELTS about what a ‘complex sentence’ actually is.

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Forming complex sentences in IELTS

IELTS writing focusUsing ‘tend to’, ‘that’ clauses and modals in IELTS writing and speaking.

A good skill to learn in academic writing is to soften your language or use what is often called ‘hedging’. This is useful in Discussion essays when you write about others opinions and it is also needed to soften your language so that you don’t generalise too much. This shows that you have a wider range of vocabulary and you can form complex sentences.

This is also very useful in the speaking section when you want to display a wider range of vocabulary and it shows that you can talk naturally.

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