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TitleOet Essential Grammar
TagsEnglish Language Adverb Verb Subject (Grammar) Comma
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Total Pages11
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Page 1

Essential Grammar Ver.2 Compiled by Marg Tolliday of the OETWorkshop

© May 2010 page 1 of 11

The OETWorkshop’s
Essential Grammar for Health Professionals

By Marg Tolliday, OET Tutor / IELTS Trained Examiner
May 2010 ©

Getting B, B, B, B (or even higher) in the OET

or Band 7 in IELTS Academic requires . . .

 correct grammar

 correct spelling

 appropriate words

 more sophisticated vocabulary

 correct punctuation

 verbal and written fluency

 quick comprehension skills

If you are a skilled health professional -

or a high achiever needing Band 7 in IELTS to gain entry
into a prestigious University course, then …

1. You will know how much hard work is involved in stepping

“up” to a higher level
2. You read widely – not just literature to do with your chosen

discipline – but general everyday matters
3. You use English when involved in everyday conversations as

you go about your daily life

4. You know what this - or  means -
5. If you do all of the above – and you recognise symbols instantly

– and they mean something to you … then you are well on
your way to mastering English at a high level.

6. Think about this: English letters/characters – are also symbols,
which need to be instantly recognisable, and the quicker you
can do this – the better.

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Essential Grammar Ver.2 Compiled by Marg Tolliday of the OETWorkshop

© May 2010 page 10 of 11

sleep last night? I would just like to check your temperature, and look at the
surgical wound. Would that be OK? [Ah! Much better!}

For more information on using dashes, semi colons, colons, commas and other kinds
of punctuation, go to

9. Tricky words (advise/advice loose/lose since/ago )

Advise is the verb form – the doing word.
Advice is the noun form – the thing you are giving – you are not giving a card – you
are giving advice.
Loose is the opposite to tight
Lose is when you have lost something
Since a particular time and event – something has happened
Ago refers to things that happened some time ago.

I advise you to brush more regularly.
If you want my advice, your problem is really bad oral hygiene.
The splint is too loose.
If you lose the splint, it will cost another $350 to replace – so look after it.
Since attending this Clinic, the patient has had a lot of respiratory problems.
The patient has had a lot of respiratory problems since 2001.
Nine years ago, when the patient first started attending this Clinic, he has had
breathing problems.

10. Verb tenses
The basic rule is to stick to the same tense if the action took place during the same
time (the same morning, same day, everything happened before the operation,
everything happened after the operation, everything is planned to take place after
the patient is discharged).

Example: Yesterday * the patient was suffering from diarrhoea and was advised to
maintain his fluid intake to avoid dehydration. Today ** he is much better and is

* = straight away, you are using past tense
** = now you are using present tense

Both these sentences are in the same paragraph – as they should be, as they are
both referring to the patient’s physical condition.

For a comprehensive overview of verb tenses, go to

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