Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll find out the connection between plural nouns and more correct Listening answers.

In just the last week, I’ve had the same question from 3 different students:

“If I answer with a singular noun, but the answer is a plural noun, is my answer wrong?”

Yes. Yes, it is wrong.

There are two basic rules you must remember for IELTS Listening:

  • Always write down exactly what the speaker says
  • The grammar of your answer must be correct

You have to follow these two rules, or the answer is wrong.

This means that you can’t paraphrase, and you can’t change the grammar or word form.

So, if the speaker says the noun as a plural, if you write it as singular, with no “s”, your answer will be incorrect.

Now, I’ve seen thousands of IELTS Listening Exams and their answers, and I can tell you that the answer is more often a plural noun than a singular noun.

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So, statistically speaking, you will be correct more often if you add the “s” to the noun in your answer.

Also, use your grammar knowledge.

If you don’t see an article (a/an/the) before the answer you need, it’s most likely a plural noun.

Thus, the rule to take away today is:

When in doubt, add the “s” for IELTS Listening answers.

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What do you think of today’s advice?

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