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Learn Everything about Punctuation in IELTS here

Using punctuation appropriately makes all sense; otherwise, you end up creating a meaningless sentence. Furthermore, you must know that it drastically affects your IELTS score. IELTS writing is one of the best ways of communicating your thoughts on a given topic.

If you are poor in using the proper punctuation, the message can’t be conveyed to the examiners. Undoubtedly, the IELTS examiners want proper punctuation usage in your write-up. Therefore, this guide walks you through the different punctuation usage for the IELTS test preparation. Let’s get started.

What are the best factors deciding your IELTS score?

Countless factors play a vital role in deciding your score in the IELTS writing test, which are the following:

  • Grammar
  • Coherence
  • Organization
  • Spelling
  • Sentential range
  • Punctuation
  • Vocabulary

The punctuation type and their usage in the IELTS exam

  • Commas in the IELTS writing exam
    Commas bring a pause in the whole sentence. It’s crucial to use it in the right manner as it provides the correct meaning to the written sentence and lets you convey the message appropriately. Let’s understand this by an example: “Elena Green finds contentment in cooking, her family, and her dog.”
  • The utilization of capital letters and full stops
    The starting of a sentence must always begin with a capital letter and finish with a full stop. The proper use of a full stop must be done between sentences to allow the examiner to understand where the sentence begins and ends.
    A small reminder: Any proper nouns, for example, a person’s name, nationalities, places, and language, must initiate with a capital letter. For example, Washington, D. C. is the capital of the USA.
  • Semicolon
    A semicolon is used to merge two separated clauses in a compound sentence. Here to remember that you can use it only when the meaning of each clause is precisely related. Let’s say an example:

      • It’s raining like cats and dogs; people can hardly move out.
      • The days are getting shorter; it seems the nights get much earlier.

On the other hand, you can use a semicolon in a compound sentence when the second clause starts with a transitional phrase or conjunctive adverb.

      • The two countries, Ukraine and Russia, have been at war for the previous month; as a result, restoring peace would not be easy.
  • Colon
    Usually, a colon is used to draw the significant attention of the reader to what’s to follow an explanation or a list.
    You might be needed to bring various things, such as:

      • Pans, utensils
      • Sleeping bags, and
      • Warm clothing
  • Exclamation mark
    An exclamation mark is used in a sentence to demonstrate your emotions to the reader. Always keep in mind that overusing an exclamation mark in IELTS writing will result in mark reductions.
    Caroline, Watch out!
  • Apostrophe
    Apostrophes use to demonstrate possession, which implies that you want to flaunt the affinity of something with someone. For example, Aliya’s dress is gorgeous.
  • Question mark
    Question marks are used whenever you want to know something or want to interrogate things. However, you must keep in mind that you must not use it while writing formal letters.
    Do you know the difference between computer-aided and paper-based IELTS?


To conclude, these are the best IELTS punctuation techniques to follow when you want to score more than 8. Then, with Gurully, you can start practicing for your IELTS exam as we provide personalized coaching and group coaching to everyone. So, schedule a call right now to know more about our IELTS packages.

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