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Sentence Structures for Higher Score

According to IELTS examiner, Barbara Adama, a friend of mine working for British Council, “One of the most common weaknesses which I find in many candidates is that most of the sentences are too short or too basic”. In your answer, examiner will be looking for sentence variation when they grade you for your ‘grammatical range’ be it writing or speaking. Hence you must know how to use them correctly. To understand sentence structure, you need to have an idea of clause.

What is clause then?

Clause is a group of words with subject/s and verb/s.

1 clause IT and Science are interrelated to each other.Subject Verb IT, Science are
2 clauses IT and Science are interrelated to each other, when we talk about it’s development.1st clause 2nd Clause IT and Science are interrelated to each other we talk about it’s development.

Now, Sentence Types.

There are four types of sentence:

  1. Simple
  2. Compound
  3. Complex
  4. Compound-Complex

1. Simple Sentences

A simple sentence is one clause with a subject and verb.


The graph increases from x to y.

2. Compound Sentences

A compound sentence consists of 2 or 3 clauses. It is when simple sentences are joined together either by using conjunctions or using semicolons.

Using coordinating conjunctions:-

Join 2 or 3 clauses by using these coordinating conjunctions to make it a compound sentence. For And Nor But Or Yet So. FANBOYS


Another challenge which is at least equal to the environment is the need to reduce poverty in less developed countries, and again there is no simple solution for this.

Using semicolons

There is an instance when you can have a compound sentence structure without a coordinating conjunction, and this is when you join two clauses with a semicolon. Remember that these two clauses should have a relation.


I need you here with me; we were together for almost 25 years..

3. Complex Sentences

This type of sentence structure is important for IELTS because to get awarded a band 7 or higher for your ‘grammatical range and accuracy’, you need to demonstrate that you are able to use them. The more varied and the more accurate your complex sentences are, the higher the band score for this.

Complex sentences are two (or more) clauses joined together, but they are not joined by coordinating conjunctions. They are joined by subordinating conjunctions.

AfterAlthoughAsAs ifAs long asAs much asAs soon asAs though
Even ifIn order toIn caseOncesinceSo thatThatthough


While X may be positive in some respects, we should also consider its negative aspects, namely A, B and C.

Complex sentences have three types:

  1. Adverbial Clauses
  2. Relative Clauses
  3. Noun Clauses

Instead of repeating the same grammatical structure relating to complex sentence, let’s learn to offer variety.

1) Adverbial Clauses

Adverbial clauses answer questions such as how, why, when, where; made by connecting an independent clause and a dependent clause with a subordinating conjunction.


Every country should focus on science because technological achievements cannot be achieved without it. OR Because technological achievements cannot be achieved without it, every country should focus on science

2) Relative Clauses

When dependent and independent clause are joined by using relative pronouns, it gives relative clause.

Relative Pronouns: who which that Where when


We humans, who learned to tame the wild fire, are supreme than any creatures on this planet.
  • Use it after noun(who comes after humans)

3) Noun Clauses

A noun clause answers the question ‘who?’ or ‘what?’. Unlike relative clauses, which come after the noun, noun clauses come after the verb.


I think that corruptions is wrong and that those guilty of it should be punished.  

4. Compound-Complex Sentences

Compound-complex sentences are the same as complex sentences but they also have a simple (or compound) sentence before or after the ‘complex’ part.


I ate a lot when I got home, but I was still hungry.

Band 9 task 2 essay using sentence variation.

Admittedly, it is correct that environmental protection should be among our greatest concerns. Without coordinated measures from national and global organisations, the environment will continue to deteriorate, leading to a more unstable world for us all. However, by focussing on this topic to the exclusion of others we run the risk of neglecting a range of other, equally grave challenges. Foremost among these other challenges appears to be the question of overpopulation, by which I mean the growth of human numbers beyond the ability of the human race to support itself. If this problem is not addressed, we potentially face the collapse of modern human society, and consequently the ability of the human race to combat the environmental damage which has already taken place.  

Band 9 task 1 fragment using sentence variation.

Overall, the largest proportion of money in the world is allocated to food, while transport, housing and clothing are other significant items. Moreover, the population of Asia is responsible for the largest group of humans.

Band 9 letter fragment using sentence variation.

I am terribly sorry about being absent, but unfortunately the appointment was made many months in advance and it is impossible for me to reschedule. If I miss it, my visa will be cancelled and I will be forced to leave the country. I am sure you can understand, therefore, what a crucial meeting this is for me.

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