Grammar in IELTS and PTE – 25% of the marks in an English competitive exam such as IELTS, PTE etc are awarded to grammar. Especially, the speaking and writing modules should be grammar-error-free to even target a 7+ (IELTS) or 65+ PTE) score. But many of us, wherein English is an acquired language, we make frequent grammar mistakes. In a nut shell, to score 7+ or 65+ more than 75% of the sentences should not have any errors in them.

So it is vital to focus on Grammar in IELTS and PTE training and this article is first in a series of highlighting common mistakes observed

After working with many students, may be a thousand of them, we have noticed the same errors are made again and again. Here are the top-most errors observed amongst them and keeping this in mind is where Sahasriya has a structured Grammar & Communication course too.

#1. Usage of “the”

One should use “the” only

a) when there is only one of something in a particular area. Example – “the” government, “the” police, “the” hospital

b) when there is only one in the entire world. Example – “the” world, “the” environment, “the” atmosphere

c) with superlatives: “the” best, “the” hottest, “the” most beautiful

d) before nouns that describe general things. Example – “the” motorbike is is the most common form of transport in Asia, “the” role of a teacher has changed in recent years

and in few more places.

At the same time, we do not use “the”

i) to talk generally we drop the word ‘the’ and use the plural: dogs don’t like cats, Japanese cars are very reliable, German products are very high quality.

ii) with a single place or country: India, China

#2. Singular vs plural

Some nouns are uncountable and will therefore always be in singular form and never plural. Many errors were found in the following nouns which were always mentioned as plurals by our students

i) Advice

ii) Food

iii) Knowledge

iv) Money

v) Education

vi) Traffic

… and so on

Simply put, when the noun is an uncountable, you cannot use

i) a plural verb: Example – There were many traffic in the city

ii) a number: Example – three advice, four money

iii) a few, a couple, many, a number of: Example – a few research, a number of literature

#3. Noun Verb Agreement

The verb must agree with the noun. If you use a plural noun, you must use a plural verb and vice versa.


There is some dogs outside – WRONG

There is some food in the kitchen – RIGHT

Here are some homework for you – WRONG

There are some eggs in the kitchen. – RIGHT

About Sindhu Sriram

Sindhu SriramAn education enthusiast and a self-made entrepreneur in devising unique and simple ways to educate complex elements. An English language expert and a successful role-model for many aspiring trainers. Not only is she the brainchild to have founded Sahasriya, she is a top-notch and sought after English language professional

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