Cambridge grammar for ielts student's book with answers


Grammar is not tested directly in this exam, so you might be surprised lớn hear this.

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But it is true: Proper English grammar is very important for getting a high IELTS score!

Even though there is no part of the IELTS that focuses only on grammar, you will need to study grammar to lớn get on the path to exam success.

Grammar helps you make progress in all the four skills, reading, writing, listening và speaking.

You’ll be able khổng lồ feel your progress in speaking & writing mainly, because this is where you will actively use grammar structures to express your ideas. However, knowing grammar will also help you understand language, both in reading và in listening, because you’ll become more familiar with grammar structures & will understand what others want to say right away.

The best way to lớn improve your grammar is khổng lồ study each rule one by one, read some examples, make your own examples & then practice each rule by doing exercises.

We selected some important grammar rules for you lớn learn so that you feel more confident in the IELTS exam. Each rule is followed by examples và a short exercise. Once you’ve done the exercises, you can check with the answer key at the kết thúc of the post.  Download: This blog post is available as a convenient & portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

 7 English Grammar Rules You Need khổng lồ Get a Higher IELTS Score

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1. The Simple Aspect

We use the simple aspect lớn talk about general, permanent or repeated actions.

Here, the present simple is used to lớn refer khổng lồ a general, habitual action:

I often read business magazines online.

In the above example, it is implied that you read these magazines online all the time. This is something you vì regularly.

We use the continuous aspect to focus on progressive actions that usually happen around the moment of speaking.

Here, the present continuous is used lớn refer to lớn an action that is happening at the moment of speaking:

I am reading an interesting book.

The same rule applies khổng lồ all the verb tenses, past, present and future. If you want to focus on the continuity of the action, use the continuous aspect. If you are more interested in the result of the action, then use the simple aspect.

Try this exercise with tìm kiếm for the word “read” và then the word “reading” and check the flashcards and clip results for each. You’ll quickly see the difference between the two in the example sentences. You’ll also get a chance to lớn flip through clips where the words are used for more context.

* can help you with the other rules in this post, as well. It’s a program that uses authentic English videos like news segments, movie trailers and clips, music videos và more.

The program also has additional learning tools that can help you prepare for the IELTS, like pronunciation practice on the iOS & Android apps, the ability to check the meaning of any word from the video’s subtitles, flashcards that you can organize into your own themed lists, personalized quizzes và more.


With a program like, you’ll get a chance to see these rules in context và learn how to lớn confidently use them yourself.

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Why is this useful for IELTS?

In IELTS Speaking Part 1 you have to answer questions about yourself.

You will need lớn make sure you use the right verb tense và the right aspect—simple or continuous—depending on what you want to lớn say. If you want lớn talk about general things that you vì chưng regularly, then you need the present simple. If, however, you want to refer lớn actions that are temporary & happen around the moment of speaking, then you need the present continuous.

You may also need this grammar rule in Writing Part 1 when describing trends shown in graphs or charts. You are probably going khổng lồ use the past simple quite a lot because in this part you report on situations that happened in the past.


Between January & March, the profit rose by 10%.

They produced twice the amount of cars in June.

Hungary accounted for 10% of the students involved in the competition.

Let’s practice this rule by putting the verbs in the right tense and aspect:

1. I ___(exercise) every other day, but I ___(not like) going lớn sports competitions.

2. The graphs ___(show) how the total number of students ___(change) in the past 5 years.

3. I ___(do) an internship this spring, so I ___(not want) khổng lồ take another job just yet.

4. Alan ___(watch) a movie when I ___(arrive).

2. The Simple Past and Present Perfect Verb Tenses

When using the past tense, we see these past actions as having no connection with the present. They belong to the past, so we use the past tense to express them.

I ate my breakfast with Tony và then we saw a movie.

The action above happened in the past. There is no connection with the present, so we use the simple past.

If, however, the kích hoạt happened in the past but it has some kind of impact on the present, or if it continues into the present, we need khổng lồ use the present perfect.

I haven’t eaten breakfast yet, I’m starving.

The above is present perfect because it is a past kích hoạt but it has an obvious impact on the present, the speaker is now hungry.

I have been waiting here since 10 a.m.

The above is present perfect because the action started in the past but is continuing into the present, when the speaker is still waiting.

Why is this useful for IELTS?

In the IELTS speaking kiểm tra you may have khổng lồ talk about different events from the past, either about yourself or about other matters. Decide if the actions are still relevant in the present, if they still have an impact or not.

You have more time khổng lồ make this decision when you are writing than when speaking, but if you practice this rule you’ll be able khổng lồ think faster.

Have a look at the following sentences & decide whether to use the past or the present perfect:

5. I ___(start) studying for the IELTS exam two months ago but I still ___(not decide) whether to move khổng lồ Australia.

6. According to lớn the bar chart, more women than men ___(take) the course last year.

7. Entertainment ___(change) a lot since people ___(start) using the internet every day.

3. The Passive Voice

The passive voice can be used whenever you want lớn sound more formal and impersonal.

You form the passive voice by using the verb “to be” in the tense you want, plus the past participle (the third size of the verb; for example, for the verb “write” you would use “written”).


Almost một nửa more courses were chosen in the second semester as compared to lớn the first one. (the passive voice is used here, with the past tense of the verb “to be” and the past participle of the verb “choose”).

More research needs to be done before choosing a certain supplier. (“do” is used in the passive voice in the infinitive, with the verb “be” used in the infinitive & the past participle of the verb “do”).

Why is this useful for IELTS?

You can use the passive voice in both writing tasks in the IELTS exam, particularly in reports where a more formal tone is needed.

Now try using the verbs in parentheses in the right passive voice form. These are examples you could use in your own formal reports!

8. As can ___(see) from the figures, the number of first year students decreased dramatically in the last five years.

9. As ___(show) in the diagram, there was a marked increase in the number of students driving their own cars khổng lồ school.

10. More language courses ___(choose) by students in the second semester.

4. Modal Verbs

You can use modal verbs when you want lớn express different nuances like degrees of certainty.

Could, might and may are modal verbs and can be used lớn refer to lớn possible but uncertain actions in the future, with might being slightly less certain than may.


We could be late if we stop for drinks now.

I may want khổng lồ spend my holiday in Europe, but everything depends on my partner.

We might want to lớn move lớn a different class if the problem persists.

Could have, might have & may have are used to express possible actions in the present or past—you are suggesting that these actions are or were possible, or that they are or were completed.

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They could have left hours ago.

It’s almost midnight in Spain, the plane might have landed by now.

I may have mentioned your name to my colleague.

Can is used to make general possible statements about the present, while could is used as the past of can with this meaning.


My boss khủng can be very demanding at times.

Students can be difficult lớn motivate in evening classes.

My quái nhân could be very demanding when I first got hired.

Students could be difficult lớn motivate when I was an inexperienced teacher.

Can’t (cannot) is used lớn express impossibility.


These conclusions can’t be right.

Must is used when we are sure something is true và must have is used with the same meaning for the past.


There must be a better explanation for why they haven’t arrived yet.

They must have changed their marketing strategy to lớn afford such good prices.

Why is this useful for IELTS?

In the IELTS exam, you may find modal verbs in reading & in listening & if you get their meaning right you stand a better chance of getting that part of the thử nghiệm right.

In speaking you may want to lớn use them in Part 3 when extending the discussion from yourself to lớn other aspects the examiner might ask you about. Modal verbs can be used lớn express probability when making generalizations và talking more abstractly.

Now try practicing them by filling in the gaps with the right modal verbs studied above:

11. This ___(not be) your phone, I know you had a different ringtone.

12. It ___(be) Donna at the door, she called to lớn say she is sick.

13. They ___(change) their plans, but they haven’t said anything lớn me.

5. The Definite Article

The definite article (the), as the name suggests, is used for talking about people or things that are known khổng lồ the speaker, already mentioned earlier, described in some detail or unique.


Can you turn the TV on? (The speaker knows which TV they are talking about.)

We are not going by car. The car is not big enough for all of us. (The oto has already been mentioned, so we know what car the speaker is referring to.)

The gift they brought was a bit inappropriate. (We know what gift the speaker is talking about.)

I can’t open the door, as I don’t have the key. (The key is unique.)

The can also be used with superlatives, ordinal numbers, countries that have plurals in them or that include the words “republic” or “kingdom.”


This is the best movie I’ve seen in a while. (superlative)

This is the second time I’ve met him today. (ordinal number)

The Czech Republic is one of my favorite country in Europe. (country that includes the word “republic”)

Why is this useful for IELTS?

In the IELTS Writing exam, leave a few minutes at the kết thúc to proofread for grammar mistakes. If you’re still having doubts whether you are using the correctly, try practicing in writing first và then in speaking, as you have more thinking time khổng lồ decide if you should use the or not. It’s easy khổng lồ erase it in case you decide that the person or thing is in fact undefined, new or not specified.

To practice making this decision, use the or nothing in the following gaps:

14. I don’t lượt thích ___ thắm thiết comedies, I prefer ___ thrillers, but I lượt thích ___ one you suggested last week.

15. Moving to ___ United States was a big decision, but not ___ best they took.

16. ___ employees don’t lượt thích it when their bonuses are being cut.

6. Comparing Adjectives

You should use adjectives as often as you can lớn describe people or things because they prove you have a wide range of vocabulary in speaking và writing. You may need khổng lồ compare them using comparatives or superlatives, depending on what you are trying to lớn say. There are a few rules you need to lớn keep in mind:

Most one syllable adjectives take -er and -est at the end to khung the comparative & the superlative.


My plan is safer than yours.

This is the safest plan of them all.

Two-syllable adjectives can form the comparative and superlative either by adding -er and -est or by using more and the most. In most cases, both forms can be used.


This is a simpler version of what I’ve just said.

I’ve never lifted a heavier bag.

This is the narrowest path I’ve ever walked on.

His was the most complete answer I got.

Adjectives of three or more syllables use more & the most to form the comparative và the superlative.


I’ve never heard a more beautiful song.

This is the most interesting story I’ve ever read.

Pay special attention khổng lồ irregular adjectives that don’t follow the rules above:

good ⇒ better ⇒ the best

bad ⇒ worse ⇒ the worst

far ⇒ farther ⇒ the farthest

little ⇒ less ⇒ least

In the IELTS exam you may want to lớn use adjectives lớn prove your wide range of vocabulary, but pay attention lớn spelling while taking the writing test.

Adjectives ending in consonant + y: The y changes to an i when adding -er or -est.


Shiny ⇒ shinier ⇒ shiniest

Icy ⇒ icier ⇒ iciest

Adjectives ending in e: The e is dropped when adding -er or -est.


Polite ⇒ politer ⇒ politest

Gentle ⇒ gentler ⇒ gentlest

Adjectives ending in a consonant with a single vowel preceding it, double the consonant when adding -er or -est.


Big ⇒ bigger ⇒ biggest

Red ⇒ redder ⇒ reddest

Sad ⇒ sadder ⇒ saddest

Have a look at the following sentences và fill in the gaps with the correct comparative or superlative form:

17. This is the ___(fast) route to lớn our destination.

18. The salad your mom makes is ___(delicious) than this one.

19. His report is ___(comprehensive) than I expected it to be.

7. Watch Out for Frequent Spelling Mistakes

Here’s a menu of frequent spelling mistakes students make. Make sure you understand the rule behind each mistake so that in the IELTS Writing exam you don’t make these mistakes!

Double l in adverbs. Normally, you can địa chỉ cửa hàng ly to many adjectives & turn them into adverbs. For example, interesting becomes the adverb interestingly. However, if the adjective ends in l already, then its adverb will have a double l:


Beautiful ⇒ beautifully

Adding -ing-ed to lớn verbs. If the verb ends in an -e, then the -e is dropped before you add -ing or -ed:


Live ⇒ living ⇒ lived

Fake ⇒ faking ⇒ faked

If the verb ends in a consonant + vowel + consonant pattern of letters, then we double the final consonant when adding -ing or -ed:


Plan ⇒ planning ⇒ planned

Stop ⇒ stopping ⇒ stopped

If the verb ends in -ie, we change it to lớn ying when adding -ing:


Lie ⇒ lying

Die ⇒ dying

Now have a look at the following sentences và correct the spelling mistakes if you find any. Some sentences are correct.

20. I have never studyied Geography & I regret it.

21. They’ve been planing to visit, but never got the chance to vì chưng it.

22. The clock stopped working hours ago.

23. I’ve been listenning khổng lồ this lecture for one hour & I still don’t get the point of it.

24. The little girl is tying her shoelaces.

25. He was fixing his xe đạp when I got there.

These are just a few basic grammar rules you need to know to get a higher IELTS score. Remember that just doing IELTS tests is usually not enough. You need khổng lồ improve your general màn chơi of English khổng lồ notice progress.

The best part about learning grammar is that you feel more confident in all the four skills—reading, writing, listening & speaking.

Before you leave, kiểm tra out the answer key below to lớn see how your answers were!

Answer Key

exercise, don’t likeshows, changedam doing, don’t wantwas watching, arrivedstarted, haven’t decidedtookhas changed, startedbe seen(is) sownwere chosencan’t becan’t bemight have changed-, -, thethe, the–fastestmore deliciousmore comprehensivestudiedplanningcorrectlisteningcorrectcorrect

  Download: This blog post is available as a convenient & portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to lớn get a copy. (Download)