Compare and contrast the emails

FCE Writing Part One/ FCE Speaking Part Two 

Try to find similarities and differences between two FCE Writing Part One email answers, for example the ones you and your partner wrote for homework or two model answers. Use as many phrases from below as you can to make those comparisons. You can also talk about the process you went through to write them, the difficulties you had, etc.

Possible topics:

The finished answer

Topics/ information included                                    Length

Paragraphing/ Organisation                                    Starting and ending

Formality/ Friendliness

The process   

Difficulties writing                                                                    Timing (time for planning, editing, etc)

Extra work after the time limit

 

An overall summary of how similar or different the two emails are

  • fairly/ really quite/ really/ almost completely/ totally different (overall) (because…)
  • quite/ rather/ very similar (in terms of/ if you look at…)
  • have (quite) a lot in common (for example…)
  • don’t have a lot/ much in common, but…
  • There are a couple of/ a few/ some/ quite a lot of/ many similarities, (such as…)
  • There are two or three/ several/ lots of/ loads of differences, (including…)
  • There are more similarities than differences between… and… (For instance,…)
  • share (a couple of/ a few/ quite a lot of/ a lot of) features, (e.g….)

 

Individual similarities and differences

 

The first similarity or difference that you mention

  • The biggest/ main/ most important similarity between… and… is…
  • The most striking/ most obvious/ most noticeable difference between… and… is…
  • The first similarity I noticed is…
  • One difference which stands out is…
  • The only similarity between… that I can see is…

Other similarities and differences

  • Another (important/ big) similarity is…
  • One more (striking/ obvious/ noticeable) difference is…
  • Both… and …
  • … but/ whereas…
  • …, and… is as well.
  • …, and so is…
  • … and… does too.
  • One thing that… and… have in common is…
  • (slightly/ somewhat/ quite a lot/ a lot/ far far)… er
  • (a bit/ a great deal/ much much) more…
  • not (nearly/ quite) as… as…
  • …and that is (more or less/ almost) the same for…
  • … In contrast,…


Without looking above, try to remember or think of as many phrases as you can for the three functions you just looked at.

 

An overall summary of how similar or different two things are

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Individual similarities and differences

 

The first similarity or difference that you mention

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other similarities and differences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use these gapped sentences to help with the task above. Please copy the phrases into the gaps above rather than just filling in the gaps.

 

An overall summary of how similar or different they are

Overall…

  • fairly/ really quite/ really/ _______ completely/ totally different (because…)
  • quite/ rather/ very similar (__________ terms of/ if you look at…)
  • have (___________) a lot in common (for example…)
  • don’t have a lot/ _______ in common, but…
  • There are ______ couple of/ a few/ some/ quite a lot of/ many similarities, (such as…)
  • There are two or three/ several/ lots of/ _________ of differences, (including…)
  • There are more similarities _______ differences between… and… (For instance,…)
  • share (a couple of/ a few/ ____________ a lot of/ a lot of) features, (e.g….)

 

Individual similarities and differences

 

The first similarity or difference that you mention

  • The biggest/ main/ _____________ important similarity between… and… is…
  • The most striking/ most obvious/ most noticeable difference _______… and… is…
  • The first similarity _________ noticed is…
  • One difference which stands ___________ is…
  • The only similarity between… that I __________ see is…

 

Other similarities and differences

  • Another (important/ _________________) similarity is…
  • One more (striking/ obvious/ ______________) difference is…
  • Both… and …
  • … but/ _______________…
  • …, and… is ______________ well.
  • …, and ___________________ is…
  • … and… does _________________.
  • One _____________ that… and… have in common is…
  • (slightly/ somewhat/ quite a lot/ a lot/ far ______)… er
  • (___________ bit/ a great deal/ much much) more…
  • not (nearly/ quite) as… ________________…
  • …and that is (more or _____________/ almost) the same for…
  • … ____________ contrast,…

 

Check any different phrases which you wrote down. Note that most of the phrases above can be easily changed to the opposite function, e.g. by changing “similarity” and “difference”.

 

Use those phrases to do FCE Speaking Part Two tasks, first using the phrases, second using the gapped phrases, and finally with no help.

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PDF version for easy saving and printing: Compare and contrast the emails FCE writing and speaking

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