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.
Read the text about geologists. What is the meaning of each word in bold?
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
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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.
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.
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.
- They refers to a plural noun.
- These refers to nouns at the end of the previous sentence.
- It refers to a singular noun.
- This refers to a situation.
- They refers to plural nouns.
- This refers to a process
We are nearly done now, with one more exercise remaining.
Referencing Exercise 4
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.