Grammatical Range And Accuracy

In this post, we will be looking in-depth at the grammatical range and accuracy

While you are preparing for your IELTS Speaking Test it is important that you understand the marking criteria. Grammatical range and accuracy count for 25% of your speaking score, therefore it is vital that you understand what the examiner wants. 

You will be able to achieve a higher score if you can demonstrate your ability to use a variety of sentence structures, a variety of tenses and advanced verb forms including conditionals, modal verbs and the passive voice. 


Complex Sentences

Complex sentences have more than one clause, they contain an independent clause (main clause) and at least one dependent clause.

Therefore, a complex sentence is made up of the main clause with one or more dependent clauses joined to it with an appropriate conjunction or pronoun. 

The complex sentence is conventionally regarded as one of the four basic sentence structures in English. The other structures are the simple sentence, the compound sentence, and the compound-complex sentence.

Complex Sentences examples;

  • Although Lana had a busy day at work, she decided to go to the beach with her friends.
  • The woman who lives at the end of my street is good friends with my grandmother.
  • I wish that I could go on holiday this month with my friends to relax and have fun.

Complex sentences have more than one clause >>

  • Although Lana had a busy day at work, she decided to go to the beach with her friends.
  • The woman who lives at the end of my street is good friends with my grandmother.
  • I wish that I could go on holiday this month because I want to relax and have fun.

Sentences with multiple clauses use connecting words such as -> that, which, who, where, when, how, although, because, before, after, etc.


Can you answer these questions using complex sentences?

  • Where do you live?

I live in a house that is built on top of a larger house in a quiet area, which has great views of the city.

  • What is your favourite movie?

The movie that I can watch again and again is dirty dancing because it has a great love story with an amazing soundtrack.

  • Where do you like to go on holiday?

Although I like to travel to the city for some culture, I love to have a relaxing beach holiday, with hot weather and a laid back atmosphere. 

  • What was the last book your read?

I read an interesting book that detailed the life stories of young women who worked in a factory in 1920's called 'The Radium Girls'.


Simple And Complex Sentences

Native speakers use both simple and complex sentences when speaking. In the IELTS Speaking Test, it is important to use a variety of sentence structures

A simple sentence is a sentence with only one independent clause (also known as a main clause). Also known as a clausal sentence.

For example;

  • My favourite book is Harry Potter.
  • I like to eat sorbet.
  • I buy gluten free pasta.
  • I enjoy swimming in the sea.

Look at the example below, can you see which sentences are complex and which ones are simple?

Question

Where is your favourite place to visit in your country?

I really enjoy walking my dog in a large park called Mon Repos because it is a great place to explore and some paths lead to a secluded beach. My dog enjoys it very much. We often take him there late afternoon, which is perfect for him as the temperature is a lot cooler and the other dog walkers are there, so he can play with his furry friends. Mon Repos is steeped in history, although it is open to the public now, it was where some of the Greek Royal family once lived. 

The simple sentences are highlighted below >>

All of the other sentences are complex - > can you see the connecting words?

I really enjoy walking my dog in a large park called Mon Repos because it is a great place to explore and some paths lead to a secluded beach. My dog enjoys it very much. We often take him there late afternoon, which is perfect for him as the temperature is a lot cooler. When we visit the park the other dog walkers are often there, so he can play with his furry friends. Mon Repos is steeped in history. Although it is open to the public now, it was where some of the Greek Royal family once lived. 

The example gives an answer to the question, but also provides extra information, which is a great way to be able to demonstrate vocabulary and grammar to the examiner. 


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