Chaining the stages of a process

Cement production comprises 5 stages, started from mixing materials and ended with packaging.

This writer has attempted to combine three sentences in one:

  1. Cement production comprises 5 stages.
  2. Cement production starts with mixing materials.
  3. Cement production ends with packaging.
Before we continue, do you know why I chose the photo of daisies for the featured image of this post? Answers in the comments box below!

How it should be done and why

  • Cement production comprises 5 stages, starting with mixing materials and ending with packaging.

Notice the following features:

  • Same subject is implied before each ‘_ing’ (cement production).
  • The subject is the name of a sequence of events.
  • Active voice
  • Preposition with

Active/passive?

Try to imagine the long sentence as a series of shorter sentences, each with the same subject. If the verbs in the short sentences are active then they will acquire the ‘_ing’ form when the sentences are joined together. Compare the following:

  1. Cement production comprises 5 stages.
  2. Cement production starts with mixing materials.
  3. Cement production ends with packaging.
  • Cement production comprises 5 stages, starting with mixing materialsĀ and ending with packaging.

If you change the subject as a way to connect stages, passive voice may be necessary:

  1. Cement production comprises 5 stages.
  2. Cement production starts with mixing materials.
  3. Mixing materials is followed by adding water.
  4. Cement production ends with packaging.
  • Cement production comprises 5 stages, starting with mixing materials, followed by adding water and ending with packaging.

Why ‘with’?

  • start + at + time
  • start + from + place
  • start + with + not a time or place

Conclusion

Using participle clauses – clauses that begin with ‘_ing’ or ‘_ed’ – in IELTS writing enables you to:

  • avoid repetition
  • combine shorter sentences
  • summarise/paraphrase
  • achieve structural sophistication

All of this will of course help to increase your score in IELTS writing Task 1 and Task 2!

Practice

Here’s a challenge. Try to make a single sentence out of these shorter sentences!

  • Study abroad involves a lot of preparation.
  • Study abroad begins with a scholarship application.
  • Study abroad involves interviews.
  • Study abroad may require you to improve your English.
  • Study abroad involves a lot of hard study.
  • Study abroad gets you the qualification you need!

Answers in the comments box below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>