Complex Sentences in IELTS Task 1

by Moris

My first language is NOT English. Currently I am preparing for IELTS exam.

Today I saw a youtube video about IELTS writing task. In this video, the teacher gave an example of complex sentence which is:---

"The amount of people from an English town deciding to start a vegetarian diet increased steadily by approximately 125 from about 75 to 200 between 2004 and 2007".

In another video, the teacher gave some more examples of complex sentences:-

--- Between 2004 and 2007, the number of people increased steadily from about 75 to 200.

--- There was a steady increase in the number of people from about 75 to 200 between 2004 and 2007.

--- The number of people becoming vegetarian experienced a steady increase from about 75 to 200 between 2004 and 2007.

I myself cannot see any subordinate clause or dependent clause in the four sentences. I do Not know why are they considered as complex sentences.

Can anyone help me asap please? My IELTS exam is very near :(.

Thanks a lot.

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Aug 06, 2016
Sentence Structure
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Moris,

Actually it is not quite as simple as to say that only sentences with a subordinate and dependent clause are complex.

Yes this structure does make a sentence complex, but other structures can be complex.

For example a reduced relative clause or a sentence starting with a gerund phrase could be considered complex but they do not have a subordinate and dependent clause (do an internet search to find some examples of those).

I agree that the sentences that you posted do not all look to be complex. However it could be argued that these are as they are reduced relative clauses:

The amount of people from an English town deciding to start...

The amount of people from an English town who decided to start...


--- The number of people becoming vegetarian experienced...

--- The number of people who became vegetarian experienced...

I have no idea though what the person presenting the video is judging to be complex though, because as you say they said all of them are and I can't see it in the other two.

But generally you are right in what you say and what most people view as 'complex', so don't worry about it.

It seems you know what a complex sentence is (though there are more).

Good luck

Aug 10, 2016
Help is at hand
by: Anonymous

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Sep 02, 2016
Test comment
by: Carol

Testing please delete

Sep 03, 2016
is this high scoring report
by: akarwal

The bar graph shows how levels of annual GDP growth for Tunisia, Ecuador and Japan have altered from 2007 to 2010.

More specifically, in 2007, Tunisia’s GDP growth rate was approximately 6.3%. However, thereafter, there was a drop to almost 4.5% in 2008 and this trend continued undoubtedly through to 2010, by which time the percentage had fallen significantly to only 3%. This was, indeed, a drop of slightly more than 3% since 2007.

This declining trend was in sharp contrast with a massive increase for Japan, which went up more than threefold: rising from 2% in 2007 to a massive 6.5%.

Finally, Ecuador’s annual GDP growth fluctuated wildly across the three- year period, with an overall downward trend. For example, in 2007, the percentage began at just over 3%. However, despite reaching just under 5% in 2008, there was a drop in 2009, when it hit an unprecedented low of nearly 1.2%. The year 2000, nevertheless, saw a slight increase by nearly 1%.

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