IELTS Grammar Part 1
Welcome to the IELTS grammar section of IELTS pass.
The objective of the IELTS Pass Grammar post series is to better prepare you for understanding and producing more sophisticated grammatical structures in the IELTS reading, IELTS writing and IELTS speaking modules.
Theme: Present Tense
In this IELTS grammar post we are going to focus on Present Time, but from a more advanced perspective that you might normally expect. Before we get started, it is important for you to understand that when we refer to “time” and “tense”, we are not talking about the same thing.
Time refers to the actual function of the phrase, sentence or clause.
Tense refers to the form of the phrase, sentence of clause.
My brother is coming tomorrow morning. (this sentence is Present Tense Continuos, but future time).
Or rather, the form is Present Tense Continuous, but the time is future due to the inclusion of tomorrow morning.
IELTS Grammar part 1:
Present simple generally refers to:
Facts that are always true
The sun rises in the East.
American eats a lot of fast-food.
I don’t like horror movies.
IELTS Grammar part 2:
Present continuous (progressive) generally refers to actions which are in progress at the moment.
These can be temporary:
I’m studying arts until I find a full-time job. They can be in progress:
The man is sleeping on the street!
Or they can be generally in progress but not actually happening at the moment:
I’m currently helping out at the local mall.
IELTS Grammar part 3:
State verbs describe a continuing state, so do not usually have a continuous form. Typical examples are:
believe, belong, consist, contain, doubt, fit, have, know, like, love, matter, mean, need, own, prefer, seem, suppose, suspect, understand, want, wish.
Some verbs have a stative meaning and a different active meaning. Here are some examples:
be, depend, feel, have, measure, see, taste, think, weigh
Compare these uses: State
Debbie is nice.
William has a nice house at the beach.
I think you are very special.
The traffic is awful!
Maybe you have a point.
Jill’s being noisy.
David’s thinking about getting a new job.
I’m feeling great today.
We’re weighing the baby.
Bill, I’m depending on you to win this contract for us.
The differences here apply to all verb forms, not just to present verb forms.
Are you enjoying your stay here?
My car has broken down, so I am walking to work these days.
Complaints about annoying habits
You are always making snide remarks about my cooking! Other possible adverbs are: constantly, continually, forever
REMEMBER: When studying IELTS grammar, first, focus on the theory, then make exercises to strengthen your understanding of the concepts. In our next IELTS grammar post, we will provide you with exercises relating to Present Tense.
With verbs describing change and development
The weather is getting colder!
More and more people are finding it hard to pay their bills.
Verbs describing opinions and feelings tend to be state verbs.
I hope you’ll come to my anniversary.
I hereby declare this school open!
These are often written in a ‘telegram’ style, and references to the past are usually simplified to present simple.
Ship sinks in midnight collision.
Instructions and itineraries
Instructions and recipes can also be written in present simple instead of in imperative forms. This style is often more personal.
First you add two ounces of salt.
Itineraries are descriptions of travel arrangements.
On day three we visit Stratford-upon-Avon.
Summaries of events
Plots of stories, films etc, and summaries of historical events use present (and present perfect) verb forms.
May 1945: The war in Europe comes to an end.
…At the end of the play both people understand that their feelings caused the unfortunate events…
‘Historic present’ in narrative and funny stories
In informal speech, it is possible to use what we call the ‘historic present’ to describe past events, especially to make the narration seem more immediate and dramatic.
… So then the second man asks the first one why he has a banana in his ear and the first one says…
In our next post, the IELTS Grammar Part 2, we are going to do some IELTS related exercises together, so you can get a better feel for the many different uses of Present Tense from an IELTS perspective. Stay tuned!