IELTS Common mistakes

The IELTS is a test of your proficiency in English. You may be conversant in English. But if your language isn’t grammatically correct, your band score will suffer. You could get penalized for even basic grammar mistakes. That said, you don’t have to worry about making sure that your sentences are 100% grammatically correct. You should, however, be aware of the most common mistakes test takers make.

Here are examples of some common grammatical mistakes. Study these examples carefully and avoid making the same mistakes in your writing.

Common mistakes with adjectives

Incorrect: She held the bag in the both hands.
Correct: She held the bag in both hands. OR She held the bag in both her hands.


We do not use the before both.

Incorrect: I have no any friends.
Correct: I have no friends. OR I don’t have any friends.

Explanation: Avoid double negatives.

Incorrect: Both girls have not come.
Correct: Neither girl has come.

Explanation: Both…not is not grammatically correct. Instead we use neither.

Incorrect: I always keep myself busy with some or other work.
Correct: I always keep myself busy with some work or other.

Explanation: note the structure some work or other

Incorrect: Wordsworth is greater than any other English poets.
Correct: Wordsworth is greater than any other English poet.

Incorrect: Open your book at six page.
Correct: Open your book at page six.

Incorrect: He is in class ninth.
Correct: He is in class nine. OR He is in the ninth class.

Explanation: We use cardinal numbers (one, two, three etc) after a noun; we use ordinal numbers (first, second, third etc) before a noun. Note the use of the article the with ordinal numbers.

Incorrect: This watch costs dollars ten.
Correct: This watch costs ten dollars.

Incorrect: He won a 2nd time.
Correct: He won a second time.

Incorrect: He is more better than me.
Correct: He is better than me.

Explanation: Avoid double comparatives and superlatives.

Incorrect: He is elder than I.
Correct: He is older than I.

Incorrect: You are worst than him.
Correct: You are worse than him.

Incorrect: He gets a less salary.
Correct: He gets a small salary.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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