YES-IELTS Glossary of Terms

YES-IELTS Glossary

Browse the glossary using this index

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Appropriacy refers to whether a word is suitable for the context it is being used in.

It is an important aspect of language but an extremely complex one, as decisions about how to say things depend on understanding exactly what is right for the context.



band descriptor

The band descriptors are the tools the examiner uses in order to grade your essay. In Writing Task 2, there are four criteria: Task Response (TR), Coherence and Cohesion (CC), Lexical Resource (LR), and Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA). In IELTS there are 9 levels, or bands: 0 to 9. Zero is the lowest and nine is the highest.



Coherence and cohesion

One of the band descriptors for IELTS writing.


All aspects of cohesion include: referencing, substitution, conjunctions, transitions (also called linking words and phrases, connectives, linkers, and connecting words), and ellipsis.

cohesive devices

Cohesive devices are words which work within a sentence, paragraph, or essay to show cohesion.

They are sometimes referred to as linking words and phrases, connectives, linkers, and connecting words.

Types of cohesive devices include: referencing, substitution, conjunctions, transitions, and ellipsis.


A collocation is a sequence of words that occur together more often that would normally be expected.

For example, strong tea may have the same meaning as powerful tea, but we normally use the former not the latter. Collocations include matching verbs with objects, such as make a decision, make tea, do the shopping, and matching prepositions with nouns or verbs (make tea for, make a decision about, do the shopping with).

complex compound sentence

A complex compound sentence (or compound complex sentence) consists of multiple independent clauses, at least one of which has at least one dependent clause.

For example: The woman, who was the child’s mother, walked to the park while the child ran ahead.


complex sentence

A complex sentence consists of at least one independent clause and one dependent clause.

For example: The child waited for her mother.

compound sentence

A compound sentence consists of multiple independent clauses with no dependent clauses. These clauses are joined together using conjunctions, punctuation, or both.

For example: The woman walked and the child ran.



A type of cohesive device.

For example: The boy and the girl went to the shop where they bought an ice cream each. The boy bought a chocolate flavoured ice cream and the girl bought a caramel one. He asked for his in a cup, and she asked for a cone. Afterwards, they went to the park, but it started to rain so they went home.

and, but, and so are all conjunctions

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