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7 Simple Steps to Enhancing Your English for the IELTS Writing Exams - Article

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Are you looking to up-skill your English but don't know where to start?

Here are 7 areas of English you can work on to become a confident speaker and writer.

1. Word Order

Word order in English grammar is the specific arrangement of words in a sentence to create a meaningful sentence. It is very important for English language learners to understand word order if they want to be proficient in speaking and writing English.

The general word order in English is subject-verb-object (SVO). This means that the subject of the sentence usually comes first, followed by the verb, then the noun or pronoun that is being acted upon (the object). For example: "Jill opened the door". In this sentence, Jill is the subject, opened is the verb, and the door is the object.

It is also important to note that in each type of sentence (declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory) there is a specific word order that must be followed in order for the sentence to be grammatically correct. In declarative sentences, for example, the verb must always come before the object. For example: "I eat pizza". In interrogative sentences, the verb and subject are reversed, and the auxiliary verb (if necessary) is placed at the beginning of the sentence. For example: "Do you eat pizza?"

In English grammar, word order is also used to emphasize certain words in a sentence. For example, if a speaker wants to emphasize a particular word, they can place it at the end of the sentence. For example: "He ate pizza, not lasagna". The word "lasagna" is placed at the end of the sentence to emphasize it.

Word order is one of the basics of English grammar and it is essential for students to master it in order to become a proficient user of English. With practice, recognizing and using the correct word order in English will become second nature.

2. Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are two-word verbs that are made up of a verb and another word, usually an adverb or a preposition. Examples of phrasal verbs include "put off," "give up," and "look out."

They are important to learn because they are very common in English conversation, and they can help you communicate more clearly and effectively.

Phrasal verbs are often used to express meaning that cannot be expressed with a single verb. For example, “to turn up” means to arrive, “to look up” means to search for information, and “to take off” means to leave. Phrasal verbs can be used to express a variety of meanings, from physical actions to mental attitudes. For example, “to give up” means to stop trying, “to get over” means to recover from, and “to put off” means to postpone. Phrasal verbs are a useful part of the English language, as they can express complicated ideas in a simple and easily understandable way.

Knowing how to use them correctly is essential for becoming a proficient English speaker and writer.

3. Prepositions

Prepositions are words that provide a relationship between two nouns or pronouns in a sentence. They are important to learn for an English language test because they express essential elements of a sentence such as place, time, manner, and cause. Knowing how to properly use prepositions will help to make a sentence more understandable and enhance its overall meaning.

Prepositions also affect the structure of a sentence and can determine which other parts of speech are used. For example, the preposition “at” requires the use of an object of the preposition (e.g. I'm at the store).

Poor usage of prepositions can lead to confusion and miscommunication in written and spoken language.

4. Collocations

Collocations are words that are often used together, or words that sound “natural” when used together. For example, we say “make a mistake” and not “do a mistake.” This is because we naturally associate the word “make” with the word “mistake.” Collocations exist because they help to make communication easier and more efficient, by allowing a speaker to express more complex ideas by using fewer words.

It is important to know collocations if you want to get a good score on an English test because collocations can be used to demonstrate a deeper level of understanding of the language, such as the ability to use language more accurately and naturally.

5. Articles

It is important to understand English articles "a," "an," "the," and "zero article" because they are essential for forming complete sentences. Articles are used to specify the type of noun that is being referred to, and without them, sentences can become confusing or incorrect. For example, the definite article "the" is used to refer to a specific noun, for example, one that has already been mentioned, and the indefinite article "a" is used to refer to a nonspecific noun. Furthermore, the "zero article" is used when the noun does not need an article to be understood. Therefore, understanding English articles is essential for proper grammar and communication.

Correct usage of English articles is essential for having natural and comprehensible English; a misplaced or omitted article can change the entire meaning of a phrase, or confuse your reader or listener.

6. Tenses

English tenses are verb forms that indicate the time and state of the action or state of being expressed by the verb. They're used to indicate an action happening in the present, past, or future. Understanding how to use tenses properly is essential for effective communication in English. It's important to understand how to use tenses because they signal the timing of events or actions and convey the speaker's attitude or opinion. Misusing tenses can cause confusion, misunderstanding, or even insult. Proper use of tenses also shows an understanding of the structure of English and can be a sign of intelligence and education.

7. Vocabulary

Last but by no means least, we come to vocabulary. To learn English effectively and communicate any idea, enlarging your vocabulary is an ongoing journey every learner should undertake. With just 10 words a day, that's 3560 new words by the end of the year - learning new words should never stop!


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