Grammar | Band 7 Clauses 1 Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

​Today we are continuing with our course in band 7 grammar. If you want to know more about high band grammar, then check out complex noun phrases and subordinate clauses

During the IELTS test you will almost certainly have to speak or write about the cause or reason for something. This is the perfect opportunity to show the examiner you have a good understanding of reason clauses. For example, have a look at the common IELTS type questions below.
  1. Why are you studying English?
  2. Why do you like/dislike your job?
  3. Why do many people choose to study in a foreign country?
  4. Why do you like certain movies, but not others?
  5. Why do scientists think the climate is changing?
  6. How will technology change education in the future?

​The sentences in the table below have answers that include reasons for the example question 1-3 above.
1. I am studying English because I want to study in Australia.

​Because I want to study in Australia, I am studying English.

What is the conjunction (connecting word) used to show the reason clause?

I am studying English because I want to study in Australia.

Because I want to study in Australia, I am studying English.

2. I like my job as I find carrying out research intellectually stimulating.

​As I find carrying out research intellectually stimulating, I like my job.

What is the conjunction (connecting word) used to show the reason clause?

I like my job as I find carrying out research intellectually stimulating.

As I find carrying out research intellectually stimulating​​, I like my job.

3. Many people choose to study abroad since they are unable to find courses they want to study in their home country.

​Since they are unable to find courses they want to study in their home country, many people choose to study abroad.

What is the conjunction (connecting word) used to show the reason clause?

Many people choose to study abroad since they are unable to find courses they want to study in their home country.

Since they are unable to find courses they want to study in their home country, many people choose to study abroad.

Notice:
  • The conjunction is used at the start of the subordinate clause.
  • The subordinate clause can be used at the start or the end of the sentence; however, it is more common for the main clause to be followed by the subordinate clause of reason. This means that the first sentence in each of the examples above is more common.
  • If the subordinate clause comes before the main clause, then a comma is used to separate the two clauses.
common errors:

Don’t use so in sentences with because, as or since.
  • Incorrect: As the summer here is very hot, so many people like to have their holiday at the beach. ✘​
  • Correct: As the summer here is very hot, many people like to have their holiday at the beach. ✔

To really understand how to use this language, it’s important to practice it. We have some interactive exercises for you to try below.

Exercise 1 | Reason Clauses

​Combine information to create a sentence with a main clause and a subordinate clause. To do this, fill in the gaps in the sentences. The conjunction of reason is given.

For example:

I like watching horror movies. I want to learn how to do horror movie makeup. (because)

Because I like watching horror movies, I want to learn to do horror movie makeup. ✔

Remember to use capitals and correct punctuation where necessary. 

This is an important game. There will be a big crowd. (as)
1. this is an important will be a big crowd.
She joined a conversation class. She wants to improve her spoken English. (since)
2. She joined a conversation class to improve her spoken English.
I like dancing. I went to the annual dance festival in Berlin. (because)
3. I like to the annual dance festival in Berlin.
There should be tougher punishments for law breakers. Crime levels are rising. (since)
4. There should be tougher punishments for law breakers are rising.
People are more focused on their careers these days. People have children later in life. (as)
5. are more focused on their careers have children later in life.
Private vehicles are more comfortable than public transport. Private vehicles are more popular than public transport. (because)
6. vehicles are more comfortable than public are more popular.


​Preposition Phrases

Preposition phrases can also be used to give reasons. Look at the examples below which answer example question 3-6 that we thought about at the beginning of the class.
4. Why do you like certain movies, but not others?
5. Why do scientists think the climate is changing?
6. How will technology change education in the future?

4. Because of the style of animation, I like Japanese cartoon movies
What is the prepositional phrase used to introduce the reason?

Because of the style of animation, I like Japanese cartoon movies.

Note: of​ is the preposition.

5. On account of the rising levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, scientists believe that the climate is changing.
WHAT IS THE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE USED TO INTRODUCE THE REASON?

On account of the rising levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, scientists believe that the climate is changing.

Note: On and of are the prepositions

6. Owing to greater internet connectivity, students in rural areas will be able to access the same level of education as those in the cities.
WHAT IS THE PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE USED TO INTRODUCE THE REASON?

Owing to greater internet connectivity, students in rural areas will be able to access the same level of education as those in the cities.

Note: to is the preposition.

Another prepositional phrase we can use is ‘as a result of…’ Do you know any more?


Notice:
  • After the preposition, a noun or noun phrase is used.
  • The preposition and noun are separated from the main clause by a comma.
common errors:

Many students get confused about when to use because or because of.

Remember, because of is followed by a noun phrase whereas because is followed by a clause (subject and verb)
 
For example:
Because of the rain, we are not going to go out.
‘the rain’
is a noun phrase.

Because it is raining, we are not going to go out.
 it is raining is a clause (subject + verb)

​The meaning of these two sentences is the same, but the grammar is different.


​Exercise 2 | Reason clauses and prepositional phrases

Complete the sentences

1. 1. Owing to the rise in housing costs,
you still have to take the ferry across the bay.
since it was expensive to run and there are adequate public transport links in my area.
I have decided to give up my job and focus on that hobby.
my teacher suggested I take life drawing classes.
some major coastal cities such as New York and Tokyo may have to be abandoned in the future.
many people have less money available for recreation and leisure.
villagers from the lowlands try to avoid them at all costs.
because I have been studying that subject for the last few years.
2. Since they haven’t completed the bridge,
you still have to take the ferry across the bay.
since it was expensive to run and there are adequate public transport links in my area.
I have decided to give up my job and focus on that hobby.
my teacher suggested I take life drawing classes.
some major coastal cities such as New York and Tokyo may have to be abandoned in the future.
many people have less money available for recreation and leisure.
villagers from the lowlands try to avoid them at all costs.
because I have been studying that subject for the last few years.
3. Because of my passion for painting,
you still have to take the ferry across the bay.
since it was expensive to run and there are adequate public transport links in my area.
I have decided to give up my job and focus on that hobby.
my teacher suggested I take life drawing classes.
some major coastal cities such as New York and Tokyo may have to be abandoned in the future.
many people have less money available for recreation and leisure.
villagers from the lowlands try to avoid them at all costs.
because I have been studying that subject for the last few years.
4. I plan to work as marine biologist
you still have to take the ferry across the bay.
since it was expensive to run and there are adequate public transport links in my area.
I have decided to give up my job and focus on that hobby.
my teacher suggested I take life drawing classes.
some major coastal cities such as New York and Tokyo may have to be abandoned in the future.
many people have less money available for recreation and leisure.
villagers from the lowlands try to avoid them at all costs.
because I have been studying that subject for the last few years.
5. Because I was an artistic student,
you still have to take the ferry across the bay.
since it was expensive to run and there are adequate public transport links in my area.
I have decided to give up my job and focus on that hobby.
my teacher suggested I take life drawing classes.
some major coastal cities such as New York and Tokyo may have to be abandoned in the future.
many people have less money available for recreation and leisure.
villagers from the lowlands try to avoid them at all costs.
because I have been studying that subject for the last few years.
6. On account of rising sea levels,
you still have to take the ferry across the bay.
since it was expensive to run and there are adequate public transport links in my area.
I have decided to give up my job and focus on that hobby.
my teacher suggested I take life drawing classes.
some major coastal cities such as New York and Tokyo may have to be abandoned in the future.
many people have less money available for recreation and leisure.
villagers from the lowlands try to avoid them at all costs.
because I have been studying that subject for the last few years.
7. As the people living in the highlands claim to have magical powers,
you still have to take the ferry across the bay.
since it was expensive to run and there are adequate public transport links in my area.
I have decided to give up my job and focus on that hobby.
my teacher suggested I take life drawing classes.
some major coastal cities such as New York and Tokyo may have to be abandoned in the future.
many people have less money available for recreation and leisure.
villagers from the lowlands try to avoid them at all costs.
because I have been studying that subject for the last few years.
8. I sold my car last year
you still have to take the ferry across the bay.
since it was expensive to run and there are adequate public transport links in my area.
I have decided to give up my job and focus on that hobby.
my teacher suggested I take life drawing classes.
some major coastal cities such as New York and Tokyo may have to be abandoned in the future.
many people have less money available for recreation and leisure.
villagers from the lowlands try to avoid them at all costs.
because I have been studying that subject for the last few years.


Exercise 3 | Writing Task 2

Write an essay to answer the following question. 
Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems.
Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
 
Write at least 250 words.
Suggested Structure:

Paragraph 1 – Introduction (briefly introduce topic)

Paragraph 2 – One problem (include examples and background ideas) and one suggested solution with the reason why you think it would be effective.

Paragraph 3 – One problem (include examples and background ideas) and one suggested solution with the reason why you think it would be effective.

Paragraph 4Conclusion (summarise main points)

We have a lesson that teaches the recommended structure for this essay type here.

​If you would like to receive some free feedback on your essay, copy and paste it into the comments section below. We hope you have enjoyed this free lesson!