Good grammar is an essential aspect needed to score well in every module of the PTE Academic exam. However, since it's such a wide-ranging subject, test takers often don’t even know where to begin. In this article, we will take a look at a few lesser-known grammar facts related to the PTE Academic exam, that can save you from losing out on the score you need.
Contractions Are Not Allowed!
This is surprisingly true for both the speaking and writing exams. In the writing module, you have to produce a formal essay. Since contractions like ‘don’t, can’t or I’d’ signify informal language, they are not suitable for a formal essay.
Contractions are also a staple of modern English conversation, and many test-takers assume that using them during the speaking test will make them sound more natural. However, the use of the contracted form of words while recording your responses can result in your words not being understood or recgonised by the PTE AI. I advise that you should rather enunciate all of our words so that they are picked up clearly by the microphone.
Knowledge Of Countable And Uncountable Nouns Is Necessary
For questions like fill in the blanks knowing when to add a plural or singular noun is important. A simple mistake like adding an extra ‘s’ to a word can result in you losing out the marks for that particular question.
Countable nouns are those that can be counted individually and have a plural form
E.g. 1 book or 2 books
Uncountable nouns are not counted individually and do not have a plural form
E.g., milk, butter, water or tea.
It’s important not to use plural forms when dealing with uncountable nouns. For example, you can say I would like 2 teas but you can say I would like 2 cups of tea
Unfortunately, the only way to remember whether a noun is countable or not is to memorise lists of uncountable nouns
Why Determiners Are So Important
Determiners or articles are another common source of mistakes that PTE test-takers make. Most people know that we use a and an only with a single countable noun, but you can also use these when you talk about a noun for the first time. For example, I saw a movie yesterday.
Additionally, we use articles when we talk about non-specific things like a building, a sea, a president, a country, an office, etc.
We use the with both single and plural nouns. It is also used when we use a noun that we have mentioned before. For example, I saw a movie yesterday. The movie was fantastic.
The article the is also used to denote something specific like a university name. For example The University of South Australia
Articles like a, an or the signal whether or not a singular or plural noun should be placed in the blank. As mentioned before a simple error like using a plural noun instead of a singular noun can result in an incorrect answer.
If you feel that your grammar skills are in any way lacking, you should get the assistance of a trained PTE professional, not only will they be able to point out your mistakes, but they will also be able to help you improve in your weak areas.