Language of Comparison and Reporting T1

Most of the questions in task 1 asks you to make comparison where relevant. Hence, to master the language of Making Comparison in IELTS Writing Task 1 means to enhance your chances of scoring higher. Let’s consider this question, notice the sentence in bold.

Not that one but this.

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The diagrams below show the site of a school in 2004 and the plan for changes to the school site in 2024.
Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
Write at least 150 words

Comparison includes both, similarity and dissimilarity.

Introducing Differences

Making Comparison in IELTS Writing Task 1


Generally, there is +a significant difference ++ between a and b + x
A wide disparity +in + x+ is obvious between a and b.

Example:- There is a significant difference between the proportions of males and females in skilled vocational diploma.

A wide disparity in skilled vocational diploma is is obvious between males and females.

Click Here: Complete band 7 Task 1 Tips

Comparative Structures

Making Comparison in IELTS Writing Task 1


 In contrast (to A)
 In comparison (with A)
B is larger/smaller by x.
 by a narrow margin.
 by a margin of x.
 by a staggering x.
A is [just] + [under/over] [approximately]x larger/smaller than B.
A is [under/over] twice
 two/three times
as large/great/high as B.
A is considerably/substantially
 marginally/slightly
greater/higher/smaller than B.
A is[almost/roughly /…]as large/high as B.
A + produces/consumes the same amount/number/quantity of + n.
 more/less + uncountable n.
 more/fewer + countable n.
as B.

Superlative Structures

Making Comparison in IELTS Writing Task 1


A is the[second/third]largest/smallest/most significant/most productive/ … + n.
Aranks/standsfirst/second/third/last.
A has the[second/third]greatest/widest/ most significant/most productive/ … + n.

Comparison and Contrast Linkers

Making Comparison in IELTS Writing Task 1


Transitions→ CHANGEOver 90% of exports were fruits; however, industrial exports contributed none.
Almost all female students were interested in art activities. In contrast, the figure for male students was a mere 15%.
Most of the farmland in Europe was damaged by overgrazing. On the other hand, the most significant cause of damage in Asia was wind erosion.

Subordinating Conjunctions
Over 90% of exports were fruits, whereas / while industrial exports contributed none.
Whereas / While over 90% of exports were fruits, industrial exports contributed none.
Although almost all girls were interested in art activities, only 15% of boys took part in them.

Approximation

Making Comparison in IELTS Writing Task 1


12.1%just over 12 percent
approximately/around/about 12%
a little more than 12%
11.9%almost/nearly 12%
approximately/around/about 12%
a little less than 12%
just below 12%
146kgalmost/nearly 150kg
approximately/around/about 150kg
less than 150kg

Comparing Dynamic Graph

Making Comparison in IELTS Writing Task 1


Adjectives and adverbs for degree of change:

AdjectiveAdverb
Very extensive changeDramaticdramatically
Extensive changesubstantial/significant/
considerable/remarkable
substantially/considerably/
significantly/remarkably
Average changenoticeable/moderate/ markednoticeably/ moderatelymarkedly/
Small changeslight/minimalslightly/minimally

Adjectives and adverbs for speed of change:

AdjectiveAdverb
Quick changesharp/rapid/steepsharply/rapidly/steeply
Slow changesteady/gradualsteadily/gradually
Unexpected changesudden/abruptsuddenly/abruptly

Grammar for describing trend:-


Past tenses

Past simple: Used for reporting consecutive trends and events in the past:
There was a significant rise in 1964. Then, the figure dipped sharply in 1980.

Past perfect: Used for reporting what happened by a given time in the past:
There was a significant rise in 1964. Then, the figure dipped sharply and had reached 5 by 1980.

Present tenses
Present simple: 
Used for reporting trends that have no specific time and occur regularly (e.g every day), or for reporting the present value or figure of a variable:
There is a significant rise at 6am every morning. Then the figure increases sharply at 8am.
The number of people suffering from diarrhoea now stands at 158.

Present perfect: Used for reporting trends that started in the past and have continued until the present time or continue into the future:
There has been a significant rise since 2013, and the figure now stands at 15000.
There has been a significant rise since 2013, and the figure is expected to reach 15000 in 2020.

Future
Future forms are used to describe trends that are predicted and projected for future times and dates. You should note that none of these predictions are certain, and therefore a level of uncertainty is desirable in your report.
The figure will/should reach 15000 in 2020.

It ispredicted
expected
anticipated
forecast
estimated
that the figure will increase and reach 800 in
2050.
The figure ispredicted
expected
anticipated
forecast
estimated
to increase and reach 800 in 2050.

Example
Notice how the verbs in the following paragraphs have been changed from past forms into future forms*:

The proportion of people using the Internet in the USA is about 20%, while the figures for Canada and Mexico are lower, at about 10% and 5% respectively.

In 1999, the proportion of people using the Internet in the USA was about 20%. The figures for Canada and Mexico were lower, at about 10% and 5% respectively. In 2005, Internet usage in both the USA and Canada rose to around 70% of the population, while the figure for Mexico reached just over 25%.

In 2025, the proportion of people using the Internet in the USA is expected to be about 20%. The figures for Canada and Mexico will be lower, at about 10% and 5% respectively. In 2035, it is predicted that Internet usage in both the USA and Canada will rise to around 70% of the population, while the figure for Mexico is expected to reach just over 25%.

Linking Words

Making Comparison in IELTS Writing Task 1


First event:
At first,/Initially/In the first year,/In 1999
Middle events:
…and/but…
However/Nevertheless,
Then/Next,/After this,/Following this,/Afterwards,
This is followed by + <n/n.p>

…following/after which…or…which is followed by… + <n/n.p>
…until…after/following which…
…until…when…
…before… + <sentence or n.p.>
orAfter + <sentence or n.p.> , …

Approaches to reporting figures

Making Comparison in IELTS Writing Task 1


  1. Rounding
    • For Trends:
      • relatively/rather/almost
    • For Values:
      • roughly/[just] about/approximately/around
      • almost/nearly
      • [just] below/under or [just] above/over
      • a little/slightly more/less than

Referencing
Referencing is reporting a figure by comparing it to a relevant previously-reported figure on the same line or one of the lines already report. The new figure can be reported as a multiple or proportion of the referenced figure:-

It can be seen that the number of book readers dropped sharply before rising sharply.

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