A Complete Punctuation Guide – Tips for IELTS Beginner’s

Punctuation can be a small yet confusing aspect when it comes to writing. There are quite a few rules to follow when it comes to punctuation. Punctuation can either give proper meaning to the sentence or change the meaning completely. So today we will learn more about punctuation rules and how we can use them to get a high score on the IELTS exam. 

How much weight does punctuation carry in the IELTS exam? 

Punctuation weighs 25% when it comes to the IELTS exam. This is why it should be given adequate importance. Today we will talk about commas, periods, apostrophes, colons, semicolons, and full stops. 

What are some of the common punctuation marks? 

  1. Period:

A period is used towards the end of a sentence once a statement has been completed. 

For example: I had an exam today. 

  • For abbreviations: A period can also be used at the end of an abbreviation. This is to make a long word short like instead of saying etcetera we will say etc. Similarly, instead of saying doctor we can say doc. 
  1. Commas: 

Commas can be used in a variety of ways. Some of these include: 

  • To separate clauses: A comma should be used to separate the dependent and independent clauses from different clauses in a sentence. For example: I wear makeup whenever I go out. 
  • After adverbs: Comma is used after words like Furthermore, Generally, Moreover. 
  • For 2-3 things: A comma is used in a list and before “and”.For example: Today we will make pizza, lasagne, and pasta for dinner. 
  • When the subordinate clause comes before the main clause: 

            For example: If you are looking for a digital marketer, please feel free to call me.

  1. Clause:

A clause contains a subject and a verb and the two types of clauses are either dependent or independent clauses. 

  • Independent clause: An independent clause has a subject and a verb and can be a sentence. For example: I like to eat pasta. 
  • Dependent clause: A dependent clause has a subject and a verb but cannot be a complete sentence.For example: When my kitten grows up. 
  1. Apostrophe: 

Apostrophes are used when a sense of belonging is shown. Usually, the nouns that show possession ends with “s” so the rule is to use the apostrophe after the “s”. 

  • For Contractions: informal words are replaced by an apostrophe like can’t, won’t, haven’t. 
  1. Colon: 

A colon is usually used for a list. For example: My bucket list is: to travel all over the world.

  1. Semicolon: 

A semicolon is used for two related sentences. For example: I am sick; I need medicine. 

Now that we have looked at the most common grammar punctuation, let’s look at the most common grammatical errors that should be avoided. 

What are the common punctuation mistakes and how to avoid them? 

  1. Wrong use of commas: 

Excessive use of commas in a sentence should be avoided. 

  1. Improper use of apostrophes: 

Apostrophes are used to show ownership, if the word is singular then the apostrophe will go before the “s” in the word and if it is plural then it will go after the “s”. 

  1. Use of They/Their/They’re:
  • They:
  1. It refers to the opposite of “here” 
  2. It introduces a noun
  3. When referring to a place 
  • Their: This word is used to refer to ownership. 
  • They’re: This word is a short form for They are. 
  1. Lack of Full Stops

It is important to properly end a sentence and start a new sentence with a capital letter. 

Parting Thoughts:

Focusing on the grammar portion is a crucial part of the IELTS exam. Hence, a student should always be careful about grammar when taking the IELTS exam. Furthermore, students should avoid the above-mentioned mistakes to achieve a high score. 

IELTS by Next offers comprehensive training courses for students to prepare for their IELTS exam. Contact us and let us help you in every way possible.

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