Free IELTS resources to help you maximize your score.
Don’t stop at 7. Go and get that 9!

Dear Ryan,
Thanks to your guidance, I was able to increase my writing score from 6.5 to 7.5, and then to 8.5! I really don't believe I could have done it without you.
-Imam Mohamed

Hi Ryan,
I am so happy to inform you that I scored 7.5 in writing!
-Sunish Manalody

Hi Ryan,
Thanks for your help, I’ve scored band 8 in writing.
-Vladan Martinovic

Hi Ryan,
I prepared just by looking at your videos and scored 7.5! Thank you!
-Rahul Paldiwal

Hi Ryan,
I would like to thank you for your very helpful lessons. I finally got 7 in all modules and can now start residency processing for New Zealand!
-Kiran Kiccha

Hi Ryan,
I obtained a writing score of 8.5. Your videos were instrumental in helping me achieving this score. Thanks, mate!
-Carlos Flores

Hi Ryan,
Thank you for my 8.0 writing score. You ebook played a pivotal role in my success!
-Awais Butt

Hi Ryan,
I read your blog every day and scored 7.5 in writing!
-Vikrant Mahajan

I went from band 6.0 to 7.5 following Ryan’s coaching!
-Viacheslav Porotikov

IELTS Grammar Tip – How to use commas in your Task 1 and 2 responses

Posted on July 17, 2012 by

Commas can be a challenge.  Knowing when and how to use them can be the skill that takes your writing band beyond 7.  I hope you find this short video helpful.

Please comment and let me know what other grammar related topics I should touch upon in upcoming videos.

11 Responses to “IELTS Grammar Tip – How to use commas in your Task 1 and 2 responses”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I find this video really very helpfull.

  2. Mitsu says:

    I learned American English back in my country, Japan, and noticed that commas are often omitted between a dependent clause and following independent clause when I started studying in Australia. Is it common in British English?

  3. Lee says:

    Thanks heaps for this awesome video Ryan! just one quick question. are these comma rules you taught in the video internationally applicable?

  4. Kavitha says:

    Dear Ryan , I recently wrote exam on 30th June and cleared exam with L-7.5, R-7, W-7, S-7.5 Overall 7.5 . Its all your help, your blog helped me a lot as I was trying individual 7 from long time, your essay structure Videos and weekly exercises helped to reach my goal thank you so much ,,,,,,,, please continue your blog definitely it will help many students ,,,,,, Thank you once again ,,,

  5. Junaid says:

    Hi Ryan,

    i reckon, your video is very helpful. could please post any new essay topic which you perhaps received.

    Thanks,

  6. Junaid says:

    just to add further, essay topic with your recommended response, specially of discussion essay.

    thanks.

  7. Maria Elena says:

    Thank you Ryan! What about linkers? Students don’t know how to use them correctly (Moreover, futhermore vs in addition to, etc.)

  8. Ryan says:

    @Anonymous Thank you

    @Mitus Yes, dependent clauses that come after independent clauses are often without commas. I should have pointed that out in my video.

    @Lee Yes, these are the most widely accepted rules for comma use.

    @Kavitha Thank you for sharing your story! Would you mind if I included it in a ‘testimonials’ page I am making? Congratulations!

    @Junaid Thank you for the feedback. Yes, I will keep trying to get the model responses up. I am visiting family in Toronto at the moment, so I am a little short on free time. I will post as much as I can.

    @Maria Excellent idea! I’ve made a few small videos on cohesive phrases, but perhaps I should try to make a longer one that explains the topic thoroughly.

  9. Manju says:

    Thnaks Ryan, the tips on comma usage are very good. Can you also share such guidelines for use of articles, as I often misuse or miss out on article ‘the’

  10. Anonymous says:

    how to get high score in ielts exam?

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Academic Task 1: How to write at a 9 level

This eBook groups all information the student needs to know to perform well on Task 1 of their Academic exam.

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General Task 1: How to write at a 9 level

Learn to write the 6 letter types that appear on the General exam.

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Academic and General Task 2: How to write at a 9 level

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Ryan's Recent Posts Posts

Patrick answers your immigration questions

I had a very interesting chat with Patrick (101migration.com) about Canadian and Australian immigration. Several of your questions were answered. Tune in to hear the entire interview from start to finish:

Model response to an Academic Task 2 question seen 12 July 2014

 

(I’ve made this response a little bit longer than needed to demonstrate additional vocabulary and grammatical structures. Your IELTS essay would not need to be this long.)

Some argue younger people are not suitable for important positions in the government, while others think this is a good idea. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Government jobs carry with them serious responsibilities. It is therefore no surprise that a person’s age and experience come under scrutiny when positions in government need to be filled. Many feel influential government jobs should be reserved for those who are older and have more experience, while others feel the criterion for these positions should be capability, namely whomever is most able to carry out the job. This essay will look at both sides before drawing a logical conclusion.

On the one hand, many argue that younger people should be made ineligible for important government positions, and the implications of this opinion are clear. Those operating at senior levels within a country’s military, for example, require field experience to prevent disastrous decisions that could cause the needless loss of life. Were younger people allowed to fast track their ascension within a country’s military, they could find themselves having to make critical choices based more on theoretical study than practical experience, and this could have catastrophic results. Thus, is it understandable why many feel younger government workers should be incubated before given promotion to important positions.

However, there are several plausible counters to this argument. For one, younger workers bring creativity and fresh ideas to government. For example, young government workers in Canada successfully pushed to increase HIV understanding and dispel stigmas attached to the disease in the 1980s, a development that encouraged tolerance and reduced irrational fear. In addition to fresh ideas, it should be remembered that to get a government job, one has to successfully engage a rigorous screening process. If a younger person engages this process as well or better than an older person, it is hard to argue that age should be a decisive factor when offering employment. It is clear from these reasons that there is merit to awarding important government career options to younger people.

Although the above look reveals solid evidence for both sides of the argument, it is felt that the healthiest approach to designating government positions is to ensure candidates fulfil rigorous training programs. Thus, a person’s age should not be considered a universal precursor to the awarding of government jobs.

How to use concession in your argument essay

Looking at a point that opposes your own can be tricky in an argument essay. In this video, we go over what concession is and how you can use it.

Igor scores band 8.5

In this episode of IELTSCast, Igor, an IELTS instructor in Kazakhstan, details how he managed to score band 8.5. The resources Igor suggests are:

(Book) Listening Strategies for the IELTS (Beijing University Press)
(Website) http://www.renren.com – A Chinese social networking site with well established IELTS communities.
(Website) Everyone’s favourite former examiner Chris Green’s work at http://ielts-yasi.englishlab.net/

9 alternative words that will help you get to IELTS band 9

In this video we go over 9 words that you can use to supplant some of your plainer lexicon (see below for a list of the words):

Alternatives for “good”:

1. rewarding / 2. satisfying

(S) “I have a rewarding job.”

(S) “My career has been satisfying for several reasons.”

(S) “My time in Sydney has been rewarding.”

(WT2) Do you prefer to work for a large or small company?

“It is for this reason that I feel working for a large company is more satisfying than working for a small company.”

3. merit

(WT2) Some people believe that diet and exercise in a population are largely the responsibility of the government. Others feel people should…

“Thus, the argument that governments should be responsible for the diets and exercise levels of citizens holds merit.”

4. optimal

(S) At what time of the day are you most productive?

“My optimal work time is in the morning. It is when my mind is clearest and I can…”

(WT1) Pie charts comparing the diets of older men in varying states of health.

“The second pie chart illustrates optimal weightings of fat, carbohydrates and protein for men aged 50 and older.”

Alternatives for “faster/slower”:

5. accelerate

(S) “The clubs I joined at university accelerated my studies.”

(S) “Careers in high tech are typically accelerated in my hometown as many young people engage internships at the nearby tech park.”

(WT1) “Growth of laptop sales accelerated between 2002 and 2004.”

(WT2) Young people learn more and at an accelerated speed through the use of technology.

6. retard

“For example, libraries that do not electronically index their resources retard the rate at which a student can access information.”

Alternatives for important/unimportant:

7. key

(S) “The wedding planner we hired was a key individual for three reasons. Firstly, he was able to…”

(S) How do you define a “hero”?

“I think integrity, kindness and honesty are key. To me, a hero is someone that does the right thing even when no one is looking.”

(WT1) “A key feature of the diagram is the pause that occurs between the first and second halves of the paper making process.”

8. chiefly

(S) (In response to a Part 2 monologue about an important person in your country.) What do you think ___ will be most remembered for?

(S) “I think ___ will be chiefly remembered for his contributions to science…”

(WT2) “For example, it has long been established that carbon dioxide emissions are chiefly responsible for global warming.”

9. trivial

(S) How central was the Internet to your studies at university?

(S) “To be honest, the role it played was quite trivial. I found the vast amount of my studying was done using the traditional resources found at the university library.”

(WT1) (A pie chart comparing the impact various human activities have on the death rates of forest fauna.

(S) “Although pesticides account for 43% of all fauna death rates, mortalities due to human activities at campsites reveal the comparatively trivial figure of 0.01%.”

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