Key Grammar Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

We use pronouns (he, this, these etc) to avoid repetition in speaking and writing. This is called referencing, and it is a very important skill. Referencing in the IELTS test will help you in several ways.
  • Correct use of referencing in your writing will increase your band score for Coherence and Cohesion.
  • Correct use of referencing in your speaking will increase your band score for fluency.
  • A good understanding of referencing will help you to become better at reading comprehension.

​In this lesson we will practice referencing with some interactive exercises.


​Vocabulary Exercise

​Read the text about geologists. What is the meaning of each word in bold? 
Picture
One of the main jobs of petroleum geologists is to locate and analyze oil under the ground. Petroleum geologists make use of ground-sonar to help them locate promising rocks and sediments. Rocks and sediments may contain oil but the only way to make sure is by carrying out geochemical analysis on samples. Carrying out geochemical analysis on samples is important because carrying out geochemical analysis on samples allows the geologist to get exact information on the composition of rocks and sediments and the quality of the oil contained within.

Select the Correct Word

Note: If exercise feedback doesn’t load properly, just refresh your web browser.
1. A tool which uses radar to show what is below the ground. (noun)
2. Synonym of likely. (adjective)
3. A layer of soil, rock or mineral in the ground. (noun)
4. A synonym of ‘to do’ or ‘to enact’. (multi word verb)
5. Something that has been taken specifically to be studied scientifically. (noun)
6. What something is made of. (noun)

Now that we know the vocabulary, we can do the referencing exercises.


Referencing Exercise 1

​Read the passage again. We can improve this passage by reducing its repetition of vocabulary with referencing!
​The words in italics can be replaced with a pronoun. Click on a pronoun in the box and then on the gap in the text.
They   ·  These   ·  it   ·  This  
Click or touch a word above
One of the main jobs of petroleum geologists is to locate and analyze oil under the ground. Petroleum geologists make use of ground-sonar to help them locate promising rocks and sediments. Rocks and sediments may contain oil but the only way to make sure is by carrying out geochemical analysis on samples. Carrying out geochemical analysis on samples is important because carrying out geochemical analysis on samples allows the geologist to get exact information on the composition of rocks and sediments and the quality of the oil contained within.
Note

Notice with the last two references, we don’t use ‘this’ twice because we don’t want to repeat vocabulary. We often use ‘this’ rather than ‘it’ first because ‘this’ is a more specific way of referencing. 

We prefer to refer to people with ‘they’ rather than ‘these’.


Referencing Exercise 2

​Complete the following grammar rules with the correct pronouns.
1. and refer to singular nouns.
3. and refer to plural nouns.
5. and refer to nouns at the end of the previous sentence.
7. can also refer to situations and processes.


Referencing Exercise 3

Click on the word or words that it/they/this/these refer to in the following sentences and put them into the boxes below.
Answer Explanation

  1. They refers to a plural noun.
  2. These refers to nouns at the end of the previous sentence.
  3. It refers to a singular noun.
  4. This refers to a situation.
  5. They refers to plural nouns.
  6. This refers to a process

We are nearly done now, with one more exercise remaining. 

Referencing Exercise 4

This   ·  These   ·  it   ·  They   ·  they   ·  it   ·  This  
Click or touch a word above
1. If nature is to be protected, must be done by monitoring and regulating where companies mine and drill and how they do so.
2. For a country to take advantage of its mineral resources, qualified and experienced engineers and geologists are needed. It is important that are both trained and kept in the country in order to build the industry.
3. The price of oil rose sharply throughout the nineties. was good for oil producing nations as it meant their incomes increased.
4. The Mining Management Act and the Mineral Recovery Act were passed in 2001 and 2006 respectively. regulate how mining is to be carried out and where companies can dig or drill.
5. Many fascinating discoveries have been made due to companies scouting for mineral deposits, such as the discovery of a sunken landmass in the south pacific and ancient remains in the North Sea. have improved our understanding of both geology and history.
6. Protesters caused the government to stop the oil pipeline project. caused the government to lose a lot of money which couldn’t easily afford.

How did you do? As usual, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section below.

Our next key grammar lesson will help you with Articles.