How to write complex sentences in IELTS writing Task 2

complex sentences in ielts
How to write complex sentences in IELTS writing Task 2

How to write complex sentences in IELTS writing Task 2

In the IELTS Writing Test, you need to write in complex sentences where applicable. Candidates often seem to have a misconception that, the more complex sentences they write, the better ‘Band Score’ they would get. Often in the process, they write wrong sentences and lose marks. Writing Complex Sentences, as and when applicable is an art that needs a lot of practice to develop.

If you write a paragraph or an essay unnecessarily in complex sentences, which does not make sense, it would not be good for your scores. So, what is expected of you, that you should be an expert on the art? During the test, you would not be given the liberty to spend time thinking and then writing. You would have to do both thinking and writing simultaneously.

Each and every candidate should have knowledge of writing how many complex sentences are permissible in one paragraph. Naturally, while preparing for the test you should emphasize in understanding, what is a ‘Complex Sentence’ and how to write it properly, maintaining correct grammar and the meaning for the sentence unchanged? Actually, for getting Band 6 for grammar, writing a mix both simple and complex sentences are okay.

But for getting a Band Score of 7+, writing in a variety of complex sentence structures is desired to show your writing skill and grip over grammar. Writing in a mixture of simple and complex sentences as and when applicable, instead of a number of simple sentences definitely brings better marks for you. For a clear idea of what complex sentences are, is very simple, ‘It is the result of two or more simple sentences conjoined into one with sentence keeping the meaning unchanged’.

Make comparisons

– This sentence is slightly more complex than the previous one. 

– This sentence is far more complex than any of the sentences that I have used before.

– This sentence is twice as complex as the previous one, because it compares two things.

– The more variety you use, the higher your score will be.

Make contrasts

– Some people argue that zoos are educational, whereas others are of the opinion that keeping animals in cages is cruel.

– Sales of e-books have increased dramatically, while sales of paper books have plummeted.

– Proponents of GM food claim that it will eradicate famine. However, others believe it threatens the food chain.

Give reasons

– The climate is changing because of human activity. [because of + noun]

– The planet is warming due to the fact that we continue to release carbon into the air by burning fossil fuels for energy. [due to the fact that + sentence]

As/Since there are few affordable alternatives, this situation will only get worse.

Show purpose

– The factory was demolished in order to make way for more housing.

– The factory was knocked down so that more houses could be constructed.

– Many people argue that keeping old buildings and repairing them is better because by doing this, the character of the town will be preserved.

Show concession

– Although/even though/though we are aware of the problem, we do little to solve it.

– Despite/In spite of the fact that we are aware of the problem, we do little to prevent it. (S-V-O)

– Despite/In spite of being aware of the problem, we do little to tackle it. (+ ing)

– Despite/In spite of our awareness of the problem, we do little to address it. (+ noun)

Make conditional sentences

– You won’t get a higher score unless you use conditionals!

– Using conditionals could increase your score dramatically.

– If the government had acted more quickly, the situation could have been avoided.

Use time linkers

– When considering a ban on advertising, we need to bear in mind the benefits.

– As soon as the government introduces this legislation, the situation will improve.

– As more local businesses close down, different types of workers (shop floor staff, managers, cleaners) have to find jobs elsewhere.

Use the ‘ing’ form to start sentences

– Starting a sentence with a noun/ing form can make your writing more formal.

– Selling food in bulk could be one way of reducing plastic packaging.

– Being easily contactable has real advantages for business people and for working parents.

Add emphasis

– One of the main reasons why people disagree with zoos is because of animal welfare.

– The most powerful argument in favour of mobile phones is that they can be used to call for help in the most inaccessible places, for example when a car breaks down in a remote area.

Extend sentences

– You could try extending your points with a relative clause, which will certainly make your sentences longer.

– There are many creative professions where clothes convey a sense of style, which is very desirable in many companies.

– People prefer to shop online, where they can find everything they need without having to leave the sofa.


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