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IELTS Speaking band score 7 grammar

What grammar do you need to use to get an IELTS Speaking band score 7?

To show the examiner that you have enough grammar to get a band score 7 in the IELTS Speaking test, you need to use different kinds of complex grammar.

Complex grammar includes:

  • Complex verb phrases, i.e. verbs with two or more words and that include a word like ‘may’, ‘could’, ‘will’ or ‘have/has’ – see examples below
  • Complex noun phrases, i.e. nouns with two or more words and that include a main noun with other words connected to it – see example below
  • Complex sentences, e.g. sentences beginning with ‘when’, ‘if’ or ‘although’ or sentences containing a relative clause – see example below

Watch the following video to see me explain how an IELTS band score 6.5 candidate could use different types of complex grammar to get a higher band score.

In the first part of the video, the candidate, Ranhee, talks about an IELTS Speaking Part 2 topic for two minutes. In the second part, I explain what grammar Ranhee needs to use to get a band score 7.

The IELTS Speaking Part 2 task that I gave Ranhee in the video is from the book Cambridge IELTS 7.

Examples of IELTS Speaking band score 7 grammar

As you may have seen in the video, some complex verb phrases that Ranhee could have used to talk about her younger brother now and in the future were:

  • the present perfect, e.g. he hasn’t become a scholar yet
  • the present continuous, e.g. he‘s showing no sign that…
  • the future simple, e.g. he‘ll become a scholar

Ranhee also used the following types of complex grammar:

  • complex noun phrases, e.g. my parents made my younger brother choose a symbol of a future job
  • relative clauses, e.g. my parents invited people who knew them
  • cleft sentences, e.g. the reason why I really enjoyed the party was…
How to use more IELTS Speaking band score 7 grammar

To use more IELTS Speaking band score 7 grammar, you’ll need to find out what complex grammar you already use and what complex grammar you could use but don’t.

If you know a teacher who can give you feedback, you could ask him/her to listen to your speaking and answer the following questions:

  1. What complex grammar did I use?
  2. Could I have used more complex grammar?

If you don’t know a teacher who you can ask for feedback, then another option is to…

  1. Record yourself speaking, e.g. record yourself talking about an IELTS Speaking Part 2 topic for two minutes
  2. Write down everything you said
  3. Look for examples of the types of complex grammar that I included above
  4. Look for examples of where you could have used some complex grammar to express your ideas but didn’t

If you found the video above useful, check out the other videos on my YouTube channel.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.


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3 comments on “IELTS Speaking band score 7 grammar

  1. I’ve been waiting for this video and it was worth the wait :) I like your comment that the reason why students don’t get a higher band score might not be what they do, but it might be what they don’t do (although Ranhee made some simple grammar mistakes). Knowing what complex grammar means is very useful for students, thanks Pete.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Carissa.

      I think it’s important for a lot of students to think beyond grammar mistakes when asking for feedback on their speaking. I also think it’s important for teachers to consider how much complex grammar students use when giving students feedback on their speaking.

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