How to overcome from 6.5 to 7+ bands?. There are times when most of the candidates are unaware of why did they get 6.5 bands instead of 7. Even if you are not one of them; this article will surely enhance your skills and will make sure that you score above 6.5 bands. I urge you to read the article carefully and include it in your daily writing practice, this will not only upgrade your writing skills but will also boost your sentence making and knowledge on writing.
Powerless sentences vs Powerful sentences
To explain the meaning of powerful and powerless sentences, let us see an example where a person needs to write any good thing about life. Let us see below examples of the same.
I always wanted to do good in studies and study well. It is because of my parents that I have completed my higher studies.
I wanted to do higher studies and because of my parents, I have completed my higher studies.
My aspiration of higher studies has been fulfilled by my parents.
Most of the people, use Example 1 type writing in their daily life. Whether its Email, Chat or Letter they use the same tone. The problem with this type of writing is that it too boring and vague. In Example 2, the writing seems clumsy due to a very common type of sentences. But in example 3, we can see that the sentence is made with good quality vocabulary and the lines have been shortened from 2 to 1 sentence only.
Example 3 demonstrates the type of writing IELTS examiner is looking for. To summarize, powerful writing consists of good vocabulary and short sentences without changing the meaning of the sentence. If you are able to create such type of sentences, then certainly you will good score.
Which vs That
There is an ongoing battle over whether to use which or that and it is asked by many people who struggle to get right. It’s one of the most popular grammar questions and most people want a quick shortcut so that they can get it right. Here is the shortcut to understanding whether to use which or that:
“That”: When you have to define a clause.
To understand it better, we need to understand what is a clause. A clause is a group of words, consisting of a subject and a finite form of a verb. For example, “I am a good learner, but I find it hard to understand my course content.”. In this sentence, “I am a good learner” and ” I find it hard to understand my course content.” are main/independent clauses. It means both are an important part of this sentence and are related to each other but could exist as a separate sentence. So a close can be independent, dependent and a defining clause depending upon the sentence information. In defining clause, the sentence gives information vital and equal to the meaning of the sentence. We use “That” to define a clause for example, “My car that has expensive leather seats is in the garage”. The clause here is that the car owner has more than one car and is reciprocated by “that” in the sentence. It means if we remove “that” from the sentence, it will not define the fact that the owner has more than one car.
For instance, “My car with expensive leather seats is in the garage” this sentence tell that there is a car owner and his car with expensive leather seats is in the garage. But it does not tell us that the owner has more than one car. Even if you somehow knew about the other cars, you wouldn’t know which one was in the garage. If we use a sentence with “that”, it means that we are adding an extra information on the fact that the subject exists more than once and it has a specific information that makes it different than others.
“Which”: When you do not have to define a clause, use which.
Unlike defining clauses, non-defining clauses don’t restrict the meaning of the sentences rather they are more diverse. If you remove them, you might lose interesting details from the sentence, but the meaning of the sentence wouldn’t change. We use “Which” in the sentence when we know that there only exists one subject. For instance, the sentence “My car which has expensive leather seats is in the garage” is giving extra information about the car but it makes sure that there is no information on how many cars owner has got. There’s no implication that the owner owns more than one car. In addition, if we remove “which” from the sentence, it will give the same meaning i.e there is a car in the garage which has expensive leather seats.
You must have seen “things that”, “that was the best way”, “it is not that bad”, “that heavy” in the sentences. All of them means that there exists more than one subject. For example, “that was the best the way” means that there exists more than one way. If you use “which was the best way” means there is no information on whether there were more ways or not and “which” is included to give extra information only.
When to use “the” in your sentences
“The” is a definite article which means it used to define or identify a particular person or object who is famous and known worldwide. Other than this, there exist many other rules which are elaborated in this article.
In paragraphs, we use “the” definite article when the writer believes that the reader already knows what he is referring to. For example, “There is an opening in my company from last 10 days. The job involves routine checkup of machines late night.”. Here, we have used “the” to refer to something which has already been mentioned. In this sentence, we have mentioned that there is an opening in the company in the first sentence. The next sentence refers to this opening which has already been added in the previous sentence by using the “The job”. In addition to prior referring you must understand that “the” is used with global terms. We use “the” before things/places/unique objects/superlative adjective/official designations/family names/to identify a person/nationality/decades(100 or more years). Let us understand them by examples:
a. “We went to the hospital yesterday to visit him”. In this sentence we used “the” before hospital because everyone knows the term hospital, i.e it is known globally.
b. “The Taj Mahal looks beautiful with rainbow”. “The Taj Mahal” again Taj Mahal is known worldwide and the definite article is used to define Taj Mahal that it is known globally.
c. “Where is the kitchen?”. A kitchen is a place in the house, we again know what a kitchen is. Thus “the” is used before it.
d. “Turn left and go to straight then you will see number 495. Our house is across from the Indian restaurant.” in this sentence, we have used “the” before a nationality.
e. “The man who wrote this book is famous.” here we have used “The man” in sentences to identify a particular person or object.
f. “The sun rose at 5:17 am in the morning.” here sun is an object that is unique and known globally.
g. “The CEO of the company has resigned from his position.” here CEO is an official designation and is unique.
h. “The school has announced holidays for this season” here school is a global term understood worldwide by everyone.
i. “This is a painting from the 80’s.” here decades is mentioned thus “the” will be used.
j. “He is the tallest boy in the class.” here superlative adjective is used thus we can use “the tallest”.
k. “The Pope is visiting Russia.” Pope is unique hence “the” is used.
l. “The President of India is visiting our country.” President of India is unique and only one, hence “the” is used.
To reiterate, we use “the” when we are referring to the previously mentioned object/place/identity/subject. We also use “the” with globally known places/nouns/designations etc.
When to use semicolon and comma in a sentence
Using commas in your sentence
A comma is used to separate multiple short information.
Rule: To use a comma you must have two long independent clauses but no conjunctions such as and, or, but, for, and nor should connect them. We use commas when we giving small information but more than one. ex. “New York, New Delhi, and New Castle”.
Using a semicolon in your sentence
A semicolon is used to group closely related information. A semicolon creates more separation between thoughts than a comma does but less than a period does. It means that it is a shorter version of sentence closure. For example, “I bought shiny, ripe apples; small, sweet, juicy grapes; and firm pears.”. Thus when you want to continue the sentence with a similar set of information users can use while using a semicolon.
Rule: Use the semicolon if you have two independent clauses connected without a conjunction.
Using a colon in your sentence
A colon is used to introduce a list which is closely related information, to announce, introduce, or direct attention to a list, a noun or noun phrase, a quotation, or an example/explanation. For
example, “The fundamentals included in our writing class: grammar, punctuation, style, and voice.”
Rule: Use a colon to introduce a list when no introductory words like namely, for instance, i.e., e.g. precede the list.
Incorrect: I have one goal; to find her.
Correct: I have one goal: to find her.
Prepositions For vs To
There is often a confusion of preposition usage especially between “For” and “To”. However, it is really simple if we remember the following rules while using these prepositions.
When to use “To”
To can be used to indicate direction/limit or an ending point/relationship/a time or a period. If you remember these four things you will surely not commit mistakes while using in your writing and speaking. Examples can be,
“I am heading to the entrance of the hospital.” (direction)
“The stock prices rose up to 1000 dollars in just one day.” (ending point)
“This letter is very important to your promotion.” (relationship)
“I work nine to five, Monday to Saturday.” (time)
When to use “For”
For can be used to indicate the use of something/mean because of/indicate time or duration. If you remember these three things you will be able to overcome the mistakes in your writing and speaking
while using “For” proposition. Examples can be,
“This place is for exhibitions and shows.” (use of something)
“We feel sorry for your loss” (mean because of)
“He’s been famous for many decades.” (time or duration)
I hope this article will alleviate your shortcomings and will make sure that you score well in your IELTS writing and speaking section.
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