How to make a complex sentence structure using a clauseHere is an example sentence related to a typical IELTS writing (and speaking) topic – traffic congestion.
- Building wider roads can solve traffic congestion because it allows traffic to move more easily.
Sentence analysisThere are two main parts to this simple sentence: the problem (traffic congestion) and the solution (building wider roads).
But if you want to score IELTS Writing band 6 then you need to “use a mix of simple and complex sentence forms” and if you want to score band 7 or more then you need to “use a variety of complex structures”.
So how can you transform a simple sentence into a complex sentence to improve your IELTS writing band score?Here are some easy steps to explain how to make better, longer and more complex sentences and improve your IELTS writing band score.
You can add some extra information to the basic sentence to make the sentence better and transform it into a ‘complex’ sentence structure.
To do this, you can add some extra information, for example, about the problem. You can introduce a clause with extra information by using the linking word which.
What extra information could you add to the basic sentence?(1) Where does traffic congestion normally occur? For example, most traffic congestion occurs in cities. If you want to be more specific, you could say ‘big cities’ but ‘big is not a high score adjective – so you could replace it with ‘large’ or ‘major’ – so now the sentence becomes:
- Building wider roads can solve traffic congestion which is a serious problem in many large cities.
(2) When does the problem occur? For example, traffic congestion is normally worse when people are traveling to work (in the morning) and traveling home (in the evening). This period of time has a special name; the rush hour.
So now your sentence becomes:
- Building wider roads can solve traffic congestion which is a serious problem in many large cities during rush hour because it allows traffic to move more easily.
One final point, you need to punctuate your sentence. Correct punctuation is essential for a high score in IELTS Writing, and the IELTS Writing Examiner will check your writing for good punctuation. In this case, to punctuate the complex sentence, you need to use a comma at the beginning of the clause and a comma at the end of the clause.
So the sentence now becomes:
- Building wider roads can solve traffic congestion, which is a serious problem in many large cities during rush hour, because it allows traffic to move more easily.
This is now a complex sentence, which is better than a simple sentence, and will improve your IELTS writing band score.