IELTS Complex Sentences- Easy Ways to Write & Use It in IELTS Writing

Students often try to show off their grammatical skills by overly complex sentences without a better understanding of what actually complex sentences are. An effort to use excess complex language leads to more grammatical mistakes and ultimately losing the desired band score in the IELTS exam.

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To answer all your queries related to complex sentences and their usage, we are presenting our article on Complex Sentences-

  • What are complex sentences?
  • How many complex sentences are required in a paragraph?
  • What is a good mix of sentences in a paragraph?
  • How do make use of complex sentences?

Myth Buster: What IELTS examiner expects?

It’s a common myth among the candidates that the more the use of complex sentences the more the chances of getting a higher band score. But actually, it’s not true. From the personal experience of BDS 9 Band scoring candidates, we have observed a pattern that we want to tell our readers well.

Band 6-7

Use a mix of simple and complex sentences

Band 8-9

Use a mix of simple and a variety of complex sentences

Let’s quickly understand what complex sentences are, and what is a pattern to use them.

What is a Complex Sentence?

Complex word bookish meaning is complicated. But this does not mean that you write the language of the sentence in such a complex manner that it becomes difficult to understand. This often leads to candidates making grammatical mistakes which leads to losing the overall band score.

For example:

Pollution is a global problem that majorly affects urban areas more as compared to countryside areas and can even spread to remote places where there is no or less population.

This passage is just a general idea of what pollution is. The candidate tried to sum up multiple ideas in one passage without affecting the actual meaning and ideas. Incorrect use of complex sentences ruins the understanding and disturbs the reading of the examiner ultimately leading to an affected IELTS writing band score.

In order to define we would say “Complex Sentences” are just the combination of two or more simple sentences.

Like in the example given up

1. Pollution is a Global Problem.

2. Pollution affects Urban areas more.

3. Countryside areas are less affected by Pollution.

4. Pollution can spread to remote places where there is no or less population.

If we write these simple sentences for the IELTS exam then there are likely to have more chances to lose our score, so what we have to do is just sum up the ideas and put them together in order to form a complex sentence.

When to use Complex Sentences?

When writing a pointed statement we should simple sentences, generally at the beginning of a paragraph. Complex sentences can be best used and suggested to use in the situation when we are providing some additional information to the main point like the example to the main information.

For Example-

The question is “What is the impact of Social media on Youngsters?”

“Impact of is increasing day by day. Social media has been ingrained into our society today to such an extent that it is virtually impossible for people to take you seriously. Everyone is on social media – young, old, rich, poor, etc.”

The first sentence is on the topic and makes the main point of what the passage is all about. Also, it is the beginning of the paragraph and it is acceptable to use simple sentences.

The second sentence explains the main point and uses the word ‘to such extent’ to link two simple sentences together and make one complex sentence.

This paragraph's beginning is a good mix of simple and complex sentences and therefore satisfies the IELTS Marking Criteria.

How to form a Complex Sentence?

Complex sentences are the combination of two or more simple sentences with some connecting phrases. Use a mix of grammatical structures to become confident while using complex sentences.

Complex sentences we structured with the use of two things- a dependent clause and an independent clause. A clause is a group of words with both a subject and a verb.

An example of a dependent clause is ‘….because the weather was sunny.’ This is named as “Dependent Clause” because it has both a subject and a verb but it doesn’t have any sense on its own independently. To make it complete and meaningful sense we need to add an “Independent clause”.

As the name defines, Independent Clause makes sense on its own. For example, ‘My family planned to go on a picnic’ If we combine the given two clauses we get a complex sentence- ‘My family planned to go on a picnic because the weather was sunny.’

Different Ways to form Complex Sentences-

1. Relative Clauses

Relative clauses add essential information about the place, thing, or person. This makes your passage writing more fluent and impressive. For an instance- It is Anna who met us last evening.

2. Subordinate Clause

A subordinate clause describes nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives; or acts as the subject or object of another clause. They are formed by connecting an independent clause with a dependent clause such as words like as, because, while, until, even though, although, when and if.

3. Conditional Clause

Conditional Clauses are also known as “If Clauses”. These are used to express that the main clause only takes action when if the condition is met.

For example- I will be really happy if I pass IELTS Academic exam.

4. Compound Sentences

When two independent clauses are combined together then those types of sentences are known as “Compound Sentences” with the use of conjunction such as ‘and, ‘for’ or ‘but’.

For Example

  • I want coffee but James like tea.
  • He was feeling sick, so he went to the doctor.

Some more ways to change Simple Sentences into Complex Sentences

  • Make comparisons
  • Give reasons to justify your first statement
  • Use time linkers
  • Use the ‘ing’ form to start sentences
  • Adding Emphasis

Final Words

This article was to give you a detailed idea of how the perfect use of compound sentences can benefit you in getting the desired band score by satisfying the IELTS marking criteria.

While practicing IELTS writing questions try to start with forming simple sentences and how you can convert them to complex sentences. With little more practice, you can gain this mixture of sentences in a natural form and ultimately improve your IELTS writing.

Dr. Roma

Content Writer