IELTS Grammar: Common Mistakes, Important Rules, Best Tips

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grammar for ielts

IELTS Grammar: Strong grammar isn’t just about avoiding mistakes in the IELTS exam; it’s your key to unlocking a higher score.  A solid grasp of grammar allows you to showcase your fluency and express yourself confidently. Imagine effectively communicating your knowledge across all sections of the test – that’s the power of mastering grammar.


Conversely, weak grammar can hinder your performance. Don’t let months of preparation be undermined by avoidable errors.  Prioritise grammar in your studies and see your IELTS score soar! That being said, read the complete blog to learn more about IELTS grammar. 

How Grammar is Evaluated in IELTS Writing? 

IELTS Writing: Grammatical Range and Accuracy is a crucial aspect of the IELTS Speaking and Writing tests, contributing 25% to your overall score. It assesses two key areas:

  • Accuracy: This refers to the number and severity of grammatical mistakes in your writing. At higher bands (7-9), you should have minimal errors, while the frequency can increase at lower bands (6 and below). However, even at lower bands, errors shouldn’t significantly hinder your message’s clarity.
  • Range: This focuses on the variety and complexity of grammatical structures you use. High-scoring candidates demonstrate a diverse range of sentence structures and tenses alongside accurate usage.

In simpler terms, achieving a high score requires both minimal errors and the ability to use a variety of grammatical structures effectively.

Most Common IELTS Grammar Mistakes by Test-Takers 2024

Here are some of the most common IELTS grammar mistakes that you can avoid in your upcoming IELTS exam in 2024. 

  • Subject-verb agreement: This is a big one. Make sure your verb tense aligns with your subject (singular vs plural). “The man walks his dog” is correct, while “The man walk his dog” is not.
  • Articles (a/an/the): Knowing when to use which article can be tricky. “A” is for singular non-specific things (“There is a dog on the porch”), “an” is used before vowel sounds (“an apple”), and “the” is for specific things (“I want to read the book you mentioned”).
  • Tenses: Misusing tenses can confuse your meaning. Double-check your verb conjugations to ensure they match the timeline of your writing or speaking.
  • Sentence fragments: These are incomplete sentences missing a subject or verb. They can make your writing sound choppy and unclear.
  • Comma splices: Joining two independent clauses with just a comma is a grammatical error. Use a semicolon or a full stop instead.
  • Overuse of idioms: Idioms can add flair, but cramming them in unnaturally can backfire. Use them only if you’re confident about their meaning and usage.
  • Not reading the question: This might seem obvious, but it’s crucial. Ensure your writing or speaking directly addresses the prompt to avoid missing the mark.
  • Passive vs. Active Voice:  While both are acceptable, active voice is generally preferred in IELTS writing for its clarity and directness.
  • Conditionals:  Practice using different conditional sentences (zero, first, second, third) to express hypothetical situations.
  • Modal Verbs:  Learn how to use modal verbs (can, could, may, might, will, shall, etc.) to express possibility, obligation, permission, and other modalities.
  • Punctuation:  Proper punctuation ensures clarity and avoids misinterpretations. Focus on commas, semicolons, colons, full stops, and question/exclamation marks.

Important Grammar Rules to Ace Your IELTS Exam

IELTS Grammar Rules: Strong grammar is crucial for a high IELTS score. It impacts all sections – reading, listening, writing, and speaking – because each assesses your ability to understand and use grammar. Grammatical errors can significantly lower your score. So, focusing on key grammar areas strengthens your preparation and paves the way for IELTS success. Here are some essential IELTS  grammar rules and concepts to remember:

This revision shortens some phrases and combines sentences for a smoother reading experience. It also emphasizes the importance of grammar throughout the IELTS test.

Use Continuous Aspect 

The IELTS often tests your understanding of the continuous aspect. This verb tense describes actions that are ongoing or happening over some time. When using the continuous aspect in your speaking and writing, make sure the chosen verb tense accurately reflects the ongoing nature of the action.

Advantages of Using Definite Articles 

Definite articles, or ‘the,’ are used to indicate specific things, places, or people. You can only use ‘the’ when the listener or reader already knows exactly what you are referring to.

Importance of  Adjectives 

Adjectives bring descriptions to life. They describe nouns (people, places, things). In your example, “action” describes “films.” You can use adjectives before nouns: “I saw a funny movie yesterday.” You can also use adjectives after linking verbs like “be” to describe a noun: “The movie was funny.”

Importance of Adverbs 

You can use adverbs to describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. Adverbs are formed by adding ‘ly’ to adjectives.

Avoid using Conditional or Time Clauses While Referring to the Future (H3)

You should avoid using time or conditional causes while referring to the future. For example, you should refrain from using ‘will’ or ‘would’ to refer to the future. Conversely, you can use present simple tenses instead of future simple tenses to refer to the future. Let us understand this by looking at the following example. 

Top 5 Tips to Help You Improve Your Grammar for IELTS 

Strong grammar is essential for a good IELTS score. Here are some tips to help you improve:

  • A solid understanding of grammar rules is crucial for the IELTS. Focus on learning and practising the core rules like subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, and proper comma usage.
  • Don’t try to learn everything at once. Break down your studies and focus on mastering each rule individually.
  •  A great way to solidify your understanding is to write your sentences using the rule. This helps you internalize the correct usage in different contexts.
  • Taking practice tests is a valuable way to identify areas where your grammar needs improvement. Don’t get discouraged by wrong answers; see them as learning opportunities. Analyse your mistakes, understand why they were wrong, and actively seek out the correct answer. This will help you avoid repeating the same errors on the actual IELTS.
  • Don’t rush through your grammar studies. Take your time to truly understand each concept. Mastering grammar is a gradual process, so be patient and consistent with your practice. Dedicate sufficient time to each rule, ensuring you have a strong foundation before moving on to more complex topics.

Best IELTS Grammar Books to Purchase in 2024 

Individuals preparing for the IELTS Exam can refer to the following table to go through the list of the best IELTS  preparation books. 

Name of the BookAuthor/PublisherPricePurchase Link
The Official Cambridge Guide To Ielts Student’s Book With AnswersPauline CullenINR 594Click Here To Buy
R*barron’s Ielts Practice ExamsLin Lougheed INR 448Click Here To Buy
IELTS Graphs from the past examKiranpreet Kaur MakkarINR 287Click Here To Buy
Cambridge IELTS Academic 16 Student’s Book [paperback] CambridgeCareer Zone INR 130Click Here To Buy
Word Power Made Easy Including Latest Word List Norman LewisINR 149Click Here To Buy
IELTS WRITING ACADEMIC 2023Karamveer SinghINR 299Click Here To Buy
Cambridge IELTS 18 academic with authentic papersCambridge PressINR 234Click Here To Buy

So that was all about IELTS grammar. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 

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Q1. How can you improve my grammar for IELTS?

Ans. For the IELTS Speaking test, online practice tests are a fantastic way to hone your grammar. Consider recording yourself or practising with a partner. Recordings allow you to pinpoint areas for improvement; listen back and identify moments where you stumble or use awkward phrasing. This self-assessment helps you solidify strong grammar habits and build fluency for the actual test.

Q2. What are the 10 rules of grammar in IELTS?

Here are the top ten rules of grammar in IETLS: Write in Complete Sentences, Make Sure Your Subjects and Verbs Agree, Link Ideas With a Conjunction or Semicolon, Use Commas Correctly, Use a Serial Comma When Necessary, Use Active Voice, Use the Correct Verb Tense, and Keep Your Verb Tense Consistent.

Q3. What are all the grammar rules in IELTS? 

Ans. Some of the most important grammar rules in IELTS are: Using active voice, linking ideas with conjunctions, using commas to connect two ideas, using serial commas in a list, using semicolons to join two ideas, and using simple present tense for habitual actions.

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