Grammar For IELTS 2023: Guide & Rules to Follow

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It is known that grammar is the backbone of language. In the same way, a strong command of the English language is highly attributed to the extent of one’s grammar knowledge. Therefore, students interested in taking the IELTS test must be well versed in their grammar proficiency. Interestingly, grammar for IELTS has no dedicated section. However, good grammar command is essential to scoring high in all the test sections, namely reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

grammar for ielts

Importance of Grammar for IELTS

The role of grammar in IELTS is extremely important since the test assesses the language abilities of individuals. IELTS being an English language proficiency test, test takers must ensure that the responses they provide are written or stated with correct grammar. Grammar is a crucial constituent in all four sections of the test. However, it plays a major role in the writing and speaking sections. This is because these are the sections where grammar structures are put into use to express ideas. So, stronger grammar knowledge will ensure that the applicant is fluent in understanding what the topic asks and what others want to say right away.

Grammar for IELTS: Syllabus

Grammar for IELTS typically does not have any syllabus. However, it is advisable that students go through these related topics for a better grasp of the subject:

  • Tenses rules and examples
  • Nouns
  • Adjectives
  • Modals
  • Pronouns
  • Article rules
  • Simile and metaphors
  • Degree of comparison rules
  • Prepositions

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Grammar For IELTS 2023: Guide & Rules to Follow

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Grammar For IELTS 2023: Guide & Rules to Follow

Grammar for IELTS: Speaking Section

The speaking section in the IELTS test lasts for around 11 to 14 minutes. The section primarily aims at testing an individual’s speaking skills. The questions may range from general to personal to speaking about a specific topic. Test takers may also have to speak on diverse topics, some of which can be abstract too. It is understandable to have a bit of mother tongue influence while speaking. However, one’s grammar should be top-notch and must not indicate errors, whether small or big. Further, the examiner evaluates candidates based on confidence, pronunciation, and fluency.

Grammar for IELTS: Listening Section

When it comes to the listening section, it comprises 40 total questions. This section contains four recorded monologues, conversations, and texts. To start off, candidates are made to listen to these recordings through the voice of various native speakers. This tests their aptitude in understanding the English language under various circumstances.The IELTS listening section focuses on the candidate’s ability to understand detailed factual information and ideas other than the pertaining attitude of the speakers. What makes this section even more challenging is the various accent recordings. Hence, command over IELTS grammar must not be undermined, as it is the most important thing that will help candidates comprehend the recordings in a short time and produce appropriate responses.

Grammar for IELTS: Reading Section

The reading section comprises a total of three parts. They include passages that test the candidate’s reading skills. In this section, the test takers have to answer 40 questions on various topics within 60 minutes. The test contents include skimming, reading for the gist, and understanding the logical squabbles in the text. The section indeed seems easy. However, it is tricky as the candidate is required to evaluate the writers’ opinion, besides considering the purpose of writing that particular text. So, to do so, candidates need to understand the text clearly. In this regard, proper knowledge of English grammar can help individuals answer questions with ease.

Grammar for IELTS: Writing Section

The IELTS writing section contains two tasks, which the candidate should complete within 60 minutes. In task 1, the candidate will be provided with diagrams, graphs and a few other pieces of key information. Based on these resources, they need to describe the data and provide a conclusion. Further, in task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay, which must be of a high standard. Meaning, it should be written properly with no grammar errors. This is where grammar knowledge comes into use. Grammar for the IELTS writing section is undoubtedly the most important part through which an individual’s writing ability is tested.

8 English Grammar Rules to Get a Higher IELTS Score 

Here are a few grammar for IELTS rules that candidates aiming to score high in their IELTS exam must follow:

The Simple Aspect

This is the first and foremost rule that all candidates must follow. In the speaking section of the IELTS test, candidates are asked to answer questions about themselves. Here, they will have to make sure that they are using the correct verb tense and aspect.Hence, individuals must know what simple and continuous verb tenses are. If one wants to talk about ordinary things, the tense will be simple. On the other hand, when speaking about something that is happening at the time of speaking, one should use the present continuous tense.Candidates might also need this grammar rule in part 1 of the writing section when describing the graphs and diagrams. Here, one would primarily use the past simple tense to point out the things that have happened in the past. 

The Present Perfect and Simple Past Verb Tenses

In the speaking section of the IELTS test, candidates may have to talk about various past events, either about themselves or for any other topic. In addition, they will also have to decide whether the actions are still relevant in the present or not.Generally, individuals have more time to think about this when writing. But, speaking about such a topic within a given time might be a tough task. But, practicing the use of present perfect and simple past verb tenses can help one pass this section without much difficulty.

Passive Voice

Individuals can use the passive voice to sound more formal and impersonal. One can form the passive voice by adding the verb ‘to be’ in the given tense and past participle. For example, instead of ‘write’, one should use ‘written’.Now, in the IELTS test, there are parts where one might be required to write the sentence in a formal tone. For instance, the report writing section. This will indicate that the candidate is fluent in the topic and maintains the tone of the answer. 

Modal Verbs

Individuals can use modal verbs to express various nuances, such as degrees of certainty. For example:Could, may and might are called modal verbs. One can use these words to refer to uncertain scenarios of the future.With regards to the IELTS exam, grammar for IELTS regarding modal verbs comes into use in the reading and listening sections. Individuals with a better understanding of the questions in these sections stand a better chance of scoring high on the test. In the speaking section, one may want to use modal verbs in part 3 when the examiner asks to extend the discussion from oneself to other aspects. Additionally, modal verbs can also be used to express probability about a given situation when talking somewhat abstractly. Mastering the use of modal verbs will make the sentence more flowery and catch the examiner’s attention.

Definite Article

The definite article or ‘the’ is used to speak about things or people that are already known to the speaker. An important thing to note here is that ‘the’ can also be used before ordinal numbers, superlatives, and countries that have a plural in them. When writing for the IELTS exam, candidates must leave sometime in the end to proofread their papers. If the confusion on whether to use ‘the’ or not still persists, they should utilise the extra time, in the end, to think about their mistakes.

Adjective Comparison

Candidates must use adjectives as often as they can to describe things, people or a situation. This will prove that the individual has a wide range of vocabulary in writing and speaking. Additionally, individuals may also need to compare the adjectives using superlatives and comparatives. 

Eradicate Frequent Spelling Mistakes

Most students tend to make frequent spelling errors. For example, writing an extra ‘l’ in adverbs or adding ‘ing’ to ‘ed’ verbs. To eradicate such errors, candidates must practice as much as possible and pace up solving previous years’ question papers to grasp the test structure better.

Sentence Construction

Candidates need to construct a sentence to make it sound meaningful properly. This holds the utmost importance in the writing section of the IELTS test. Moreover, for proper sentence construction, correct grammar is essential. This is because grammar is the base upon which a language stands. 

Best Resources to Prepare for IELTS Grammar

Although the resources to prepare for grammar for IELTS are plenty, mentioned below are the best books that candidates can follow for better command of the English language:

  • Basic English Grammar, B. Azar
  • Grammar for IELTS, D. Hopkins, P. Cullens
  • Oxford Practice Grammar Intermediate, J. Eastwood
  • Achieve IELTS Grammar and Vocabulary
  • Oxford Practice Grammar Advanced, G. Yule 
  • Get IELTS Band 9 Grammar Secrets
  • Cobuild English Grammar [Advanced]
  • Collins Grammar For IELTS [Advanced]

How is Grammar for IELTS Evaluated?

The table below provides relevant information regarding the evaluation structure of examiners for lexical resources and grammar:

BandGrammar accuracy and rangeLexical resource 
9The candidate uses a wide range of sentence structures with full accuracy, with minor errors.The candidate features sophistical lexical resource control, with only a few minor slips.
8The majority of sentences are error-free, the candidate uses a wide range of sentence structures. Also, the test taker makes occasional errors.Rare errors in word formation or spellings.
7The candidate uses a variety of sentence structures with frequent error-free sentences. Has decent grammar control. However, makes a few errors.Occasional errors in spellings and word choices.
6The candidate holds the capacity to use a mix of simple and complex sentences. Makes some grammatical errors that do not usually hamper communication.Some errors in spellings or word formation.
5The candidate uses a limited range of sentence structures. Complex sentences are attempted by the individual but with less accuracy.Noticeable spelling errors that may cause difficulty for the reader.
4Rare use of subordinate clauses with limited use of sentence structure. A few structures are accurate but contain major errors.Limited word formation control. Spelling errors may confuse the reader.
3Attempts to create sentences but severe grammatical errors disrupt the meaning of the sentence.Severe errors that distort the message.
2Can only use sentences that have been memorised.Lacks control of word formation or spelling.
1Unable to use sentence forms at all.Able to use only a few isolated words.

Tips to Follow the Grammar for IELTS

Candidates willing to master English grammar must start with learning the basics. Upon understanding the basics of a language, acing a test becomes a cakewalk. Here are a few tips that can help candidates ace the grammar for IELTS:

  • Make correct use of tenses while speaking or writing in daily life.
  • Try to use passive voice while speaking. Do constant practice of changing active voice to passive using practice modules. Also, remember to change the tone according to the situation. This is because using passive voice everywhere may not fall in place with the situation.
  • Candidates must not make unnecessary usage of modal verbs, as it indicates uncertainty.
  • Craft well-structured sentences using proper articles and adjectives.
  • Most candidates make mistakes in adding proper prepositions. Adequate knowledge of prepositions is necessary to make meaningful sentences while speaking and writing.
grammar for ielts


Proper grammar for the IELTS exam is essential to getting a decent band score, which is a basic criterion for studying in an English-speaking country. The choice of a candidate’s answer depends upon the grammar, which can affect the grammar score. So, know the basic grammar rules, follow the tips, and stay all informed to ace that test. If you are aiming for a 7+ band score in IELTS, you can join the IELTS preparation journey with LeapScholar, India’s biggest study abroad platform. Our exclusive IELTS MasterClass is a 10 hours crash course that covers all aspects of the exam. All four modules are covered with specific tips & strategies  provided for each module to give yourself an edge in the exam. Seats are limited, so book your slots right now!
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to take all the sections of the test on the same day?

    The reading, writing, and listening components of the test are immediately completed with no breaks in between. Candidates generally take the speaking test up to 7 days either after or before the test date. This depends upon the centre. Many test centres also ask the candidates whether they would like to complete all four sections on the same day or not.

  • When will I receive my test results?

    The test report will be available to candidates after 13 days of giving the test.

  • How soon will I be eligible to re-sit for the test?

    There is no limit upon retaking the test. However, it is advisable to do additional study before retaking the IELTS test.

  • What happens if I am not satisfied with my results?

    If you are not happy with the marks, you can apply for an Enquiry on Results within 6 weeks of receiving the result. In addition, you will also have to pay an enquiry fee, which will be refunded if your band score changes.

  • Which area of grammar is most crucial for the IELTS?

    The most central IELTS themes include voice, speaking, verb tenses, etc.

  • How can I make my grammar in IELTS better?

    Leap experts suggest that the easiest way to enhance your grammar is to study each rule individually, read some instances, create your examples, and then put each rule into practice by performing exercises. You should familiarise yourself with key grammar principles to feel more at ease taking the IELTS test.

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Know more about IELTS

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Manisha Angre

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.

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