How to Use Subordinate Clauses in the IELTS Writing Sub-test

One practical way to boost your IELTS preparation it to develop your writing skills. As a test taker enrolled in one of the best online IELTS review program, it is essential to look for various study tips and strategies that can help boost not only your writing but also your critical-thinking skills. For instance, learning how to use subordinate clauses is an effective writing strategy that you can apply in your IELTS training.


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What Is a Subordinate Clause?


A subordinate clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb, but cannot stand alone as a sentence. This type of clause functions as an adjective, adverb, or a noun in complex sentences. If you’re enrolled in an IELTS online course preparation, it is important for you to understand the intricacies of subordinate clauses, which includes three types of subordinate clauses:


  1. Adverbial Clause – modifies a verb, an adjective or adverb.

The girl who made the mess needs to clean the room.


  1. Adjectival Clause – describes a noun or a noun phrase.

Since his cancer was diagnosed, he feels as if he’s living on borrowed time.


  1. Nominal Clause – names a person, thing, place, or an idea.

Whoever spilled the milk should clean it up.


How to Use Subordinate Clauses in the IELTS Writing Sub-test


For test takers attending the best online IELTS review classes, the following are the things that they to know when using subordinate clauses in the IELTS Writing Section:


  1. Subordinate clauses begin with a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun. See these examples:
  • Subordinate clauses with a subordinating conjunction

Meg needed speech therapy after she suffered severe head injuries in a car accident.

While Bryan was on vacation, he kept in touch with us.


  • Subordinate clauses with a relative pronoun

The person who stole my laptop has been arrested.


My mom smiled when I went home.


  1. Use a comma when placing a subordinate clause in front of the main clause. Check this example

Whenever my teacher yells, I know she’s having a terrible day.


The subordinate clause “whenever my teacher yells” follows the main clause “I know she’s having a terrible day” separated by a comma.


  1. Don’t place a comma when adding a subordinate clause at the end of the main clause.

She always blames me whenever anything goes wrong.


The subordinate clause “whenever anything goes wrong” is at the end of the main clause “she always blames me” with no comma separating these clauses.

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