Task 1 IELTS graphs can be with a trend or without a trend. If you see a time period “the graph shows the amount of time spent online from 1998 to 2008” or “the graph illustrates the number of students enrolled in accounting in 1997, 2009 and 2011, it means it is necessary to use vocabulary that shows changes over time. In 1997, it was 5% and then increased to almost 10% in 2009. Here we have demonstrated that the initial figure has changed, increasing to 10. Usually these words are increase, rise, fall, decrease and other trend words.
If you see only one year “the bar chart shows information on sales of two supermarkets in 1997”, it is necessary to use vocabulary for information that does not change over time. Now you deal with a comparative graph.
Key language for making comparisons in Task 1 IELTS graphs
Focus: develop a variety of useful words
You can use much, a lot, considerably, far, slightly, a bit, a little to indicate whether it is large or small difference.
*A bus ticket in the UK was much more expensive than in France.
*The cost of a bus ticket in Portugal was slightly cheaper than in Span.
*The most expensive bus ticket was in the United Kingdom, at 10 pounds.
*The second most expensive ticket was in France, where it cost 4 pounds.
*The next most expensive bus ticket was in France at 4 pounds.
*A bus ticket in Spain was the third most expensive, at 3.5 pounds.
*The least expensive bus ticket was in Portugal.
More (many-more-most) or fewer (few-fewer-fewest) – we use it with countable nouns: people, pencils, books…
*More males than females chose the mobile phone. (more+noun+than)
*Fewer females than males chose the mobile phone. (fewer+noun+than)
Remember that we use little-less-least with uncountable nouns and adjectives.
You can’t say less males chose the tablet. It is incorrect!
Correct example: fewer males chose the tablet or fewer males than females chose the tablet.
You can also use passive voice: The tablet was chosen by fewer males than females.
The least popular device among women was the smart TV. We use the least or the most with adjectives.
2) As adjective as (not as adjective as) structure
*Taking TOEFL was as common as sitting IELTS, with 39% compared to 41%.
*TOEIC was not as popular as Cambridge, with only 5% of students opting for TOEIC.
You can use nowhere near, not nearly as to show big difference and almost as, not quite as to show small difference.
*TOEIC was nowhere near as popular as IELTS, with only 5% decided to pass it, whereas IELTS was preferred by 41%.
3) Verb as many (much) as, negative form verb as many (much) as
*A bus ticket in France did not cost as much as in the UK, at 4p. and 10p. respectively.
*The Germans did not buy as many IELTS books as the French did, with 15,500 compared to 30,000.
*Students in Germany bought as many books as students in Lithuania did.
4) Numerical comparatives
*Naruto anime is twice as popular as Fullmetal Alchemist for people aged 14-30. (x2)
*Bleach is three times as popular as Cowboy Bebop. (x3)
*Durara is only half as popular as Bleach among people who are 14-30. (/2)
One common mistake is to use two times less. Remember that it is INCORRECT! Instead of two times less, use half. Example: Durara is twice less popular than Bleach –incorrect! Write Durara is half as popular as Bleach.
I hope Task 1 IELTS comparison vocabulary is useful and you can apply these tips to your writing Task 1!