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How To Write a Complex Sentence 

Introduction 

One of the biggest mistakes students make in IELTS writing is to try and show 

off and be overly ambitious with their grammar. This is because many students 

think that all of their sentences need to be ‘complex’ (they don’t!) and them 

not understanding what a ‘complex’ sentence is. Trying to write overly 

complicated sentences leads to grammar mistakes and this will lead to lost 

marks in many different areas. 

This post will look at: 

• how many ‘complex’ sentences you actually need in each paragraph 

• what a ‘complex’ sentence actually is 

• how to make complex sentences 

• examples to help us understand and transfer this knowledge to our 

own writing 

What does the examiner expect? 

If we look at the examiners’ marking scheme it states that in order to get a 

band 6 for grammar we need to: 

• use a mix of simple and complex sentences. 

For band 7 it states: 

• Use a variety of complex structures. 

This obviously means that we should use complex sentences in our writing, but 

it does not mean that we should try to make all of our sentences complex. All

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How To Write a Complex Sentence 

Introduction 

One of the biggest mistakes students make in IELTS writing is to try and show 

off and be overly ambitious with their grammar. This is because many students 

think that all of their sentences need to be ‘complex’ (they don’t!) and them 

not understanding what a ‘complex’ sentence is. Trying to write overly 

complicated sentences leads to grammar mistakes and this will lead to lost 

marks in many different areas. 

This post will look at: 

• how many ‘complex’ sentences you actually need in each paragraph 

• what a ‘complex’ sentence actually is 

• how to make complex sentences 

• examples to help us understand and transfer this knowledge to our 

own writing 

What does the examiner expect? 

If we look at the examiners’ marking scheme it states that in order to get a 

band 6 for grammar we need to: 

• use a mix of simple and complex sentences. 

For band 7 it states: 

• Use a variety of complex structures. 

This obviously means that we should use complex sentences in our writing, but 

it does not mean that we should try to make all of our sentences complex. All