IELTS Writing – How to Write a Complex Sentence Correctly?

IELTS Writing – How to Write a Complex Sentence Correctly?

IELTS Writing – How to Write a Complex Sentence Correctly?

In the IELTS Writing Test, you need to write in complex sentences where applicable. Candidates often seem to have a misconception that, the more complex sentences they write, the better ‘Band Score’ they would get. Often in the process, they write wrong sentences and lose marks. Writing Complex Sentences, as and when applicable is an art that needs a lot of practice to develop. If you write a paragraph or an essay unnecessarily in complex sentences, which does not make sense, it would not be good for your scores. So, what is expected from you, that you should be an expert on the art? During the test, you would not be given the liberty to spend time for thinking and then writing. You would have to do both thinking and writing simultaneously.

Each and every candidate should have a knowledge of writing how many complex sentences are permissible in one paragraph. Naturally, while preparing for the test you should emphasize in understanding, what is a ‘Complex Sentence’ and how to write it properly, maintaining correct grammar and the meaning for the sentence unchanged? Actually, for getting Band 6 for grammar, writing a mix both simple and complex sentences are okay. But for getting a Band Score of 7+, writing in a variety of complex sentence structures is desired to show your writing skill and grip over grammar. Writing in a mixture of simple and complex sentences as and when applicable, instead of a number of simple sentences definitely brings better marks for you. For a clear idea of what complex sentences are, is very simple, ‘It is the result of two or more simple sentences conjoined into one with sentence keeping the meaning unchanged’.

Examples are:

Simple Sentences: He is a very good boy by nature. He can’t score well in the exams. He is a very lazy student.

Complex Sentence: Though by nature, he is a very good boy, but as he is a very lazy student, he can’t score well in the exams.

Simple Sentence: He was extremely tired. He must go to the office today. There is a there is a very important meeting.

Complex Sentence: Though he was extremely tired, he must go to the office today because there is a very important meeting.

Thus, you can find and check dozens of complex sentences from the Internet.

A very common misconception is that writing complex sentence is a very complex process itself, and these sentences are too tough to understand. This is just another myth about the IELTS. A complex sentence written correctly not only sounds better, but also makes the writing more cohesive. Let us take a look where could you lose marks for writing simple sentences instead of writing a well-composed complex sentence.

Simple Sentence: It was raining heavily. He had to reach his office early. He was carrying very important papers. He would have to submit them in dry condition. He refused to take an umbrella. The papers got wet and damaged.

Complex: He had to reach his office early, as he was carrying very important papers which would have to be submitted in a dry condition, but as he refused to take an umbrella, though it was raining heavily, the papers got wet and damaged.

This sentence makes sense and is cohesive. This is just an example of a complex sentence with no complexity at all, to show you that it is not really as complex as it thought to be.

So how we would write a complex sentence?

The IELTS Writing Test, take the test of your ‘Ultimate Proficiency’ of Writing English. Naturally, if you write the letter or essays using only simple sentences, it would sound like a schoolboy writing in his English class. In such cases, how would the examiners be able to judge your expertise in written English and your depth in English grammar? As you can see in the above example of simple sentences, if you write in the same way by making a bundle of simple sentences, it is for sure that you wouldn’t get any credit for that. To write a complex sentence, we normally require two things- 1) A dependent clause 2) An independent clause.

An example of the dependent clause is: ‘…..because he was playing in the rain’ <Writing this does not make any sense, and it is a dependent clause. To make sense of what we want to mean, we need the help of an independent clause. Let’s see, how to write that:

Rony’s father scolded him because he was playing in the rain. > Well, now it makes sense, and it is clear for the reader.

The underlined portion is an independent clause, and the next part is a dependent clause.

Let’s see another example: The high school boys were roaming/playing on the field as there was a power cut. >> In this sentence, the underlined portion is a depended clause, which does not make a clear sense of what the speaker wants to mean.

Relative Clause: Another point is to be mentioned that, while we are talking about complex sentences, we must discuss relative clause. You can use relative class properly to add some extra information and thus make your writing more coherent and fluent. For example,

Simple Sentence > The smoke coming out of the factory chimneys was polluting the air. Pollution of air was becoming a big concern for the local residents.

Complex Sentence> If you use a relative clause, it becomes like: The smoke coming out of the factory chimneys polluting the air, which was becoming a big concern for the local residents.

Subordinate clause: A subordinate clause can describe different parts of speeches. It can also act as the subject/object of the different clauses. For making these changes, words like which, because, as, until, while are used.

Another way to write a complex sentence is using ‘conditional clause’ or ‘if clause’.

Examples: It may rain today. I am not going into the school in the rain.

The conditional clause would be: If it rains today I am not going to the school.

Another example: I have bought a lottery ticket. I hope to win. I will quit my job if I win.

The ‘if clause’: I have bought a lottery ticket, hoping to win, if I win I’ll quit my job.

OR> Hoping to win, I have bought a lottery ticket, if I win I’ll quit my job.

Zero Conditionals: In some cases, conditional clauses are used to talk about facts. It is also a way to write complex sentences.

Example > Road conditions were very poor in the village. We chose to travel by train instead of by bus.

Complex Sentence: As the road conditions in the village were very poor, we would prefer to travel by train, instead of bus.

While discussing complex sentences we should also discuss how you are graded or get marks in the writing test. Actually, in writing, you would be graded on four things:

1) Task achievement, i.e. completing your task neatly/Task Response… How well is your response to the given topic

2) Coherence (Logical, sequential and consistent relation of parts) and Cohesion (The state of sticking together)

3) Grammar.

4) Vocabulary.

Why writing in complex sentences is expected from the candidates?

A correctly written ‘Complex Sentence’, represents a bunch of information in a complete sentence. (Which were in numbers of simple sentences.) Thus, writing in a ‘well-formed’ and correct complex sentence shows the expertise of the candidate. Writing using a variety of sentence structures shows the depth of knowledge of the candidate in grammar, spelling, vocabulary, synonyms. Often a complex sentence starts with an adverbial clause that indicates a time/place/condition/frequency, or a fact related to the independent clause used. These clauses are known as an adverbial clause, usually, they are separated from the independent clause using a comma. Example: When the fish fry is brown remove it from the gas burner. Here, the dependent clause ‘When the fish fry is brown’ (it is the adverbial clause). The adverbial clause modifies the independent clause, which is ‘remove it from the oven ‘. So we can conclude this article will help you to understand what is a complex sentence and why you should know the use of it. Also, by reading a good grammar book and also taking help of the Internet you can enrich your knowledge up to the desired level.

IELTS Writing – How to Write a Complex Sentence Correctly?

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