Trends and comparing contrasting
Similarities between trends phrases comparing/ contrasting version
What is the similarity between all the words and expressions in each section? (It could be in meaning when used to talk about trends, original sources or meanings, grammar, connotation, etc)
decline decrease drop
grow rapidly increase sharply rise dramatically
rocket soar take off
crash dive plummet
rocket soar take off
be stable not vary remain constant
remain steady stay flat stay the same
bottom out flatten out level off
expand grow shrink
collapse crash dive
boost cut hike
increase raise slash
doubled dropped by a third halved
increased more than fourfold tripled
be unstable bounce back dip
fall back fluctuate peak
pick up rebound recover
regain lost ground slip back
collapse crash deteriorate
escalate slump worsen
be enhanced bounce back improve
recover regain lost ground
a blip change move
dip dive plunge
peak plateau climb
rise at the same rate drop steadily continue its (good) progress
accelerate rise less rapidly slow down
bottom out flatten out level off
Match these descriptions to the sections above, writing a brief note next to each thing above to remind you. Some fit in more than one place, but there is only one way to match all of them.
Although they have obvious differences, all of them could refer to an upward or a downward trend, meaning you only know which one from the context.
Both of them are related to explosions such as bombs.
Despite their differences, all of them mean “fall very quickly”.
The main similarity between them is meaning “become flat”.
The most apparent similarity between them is a connection to mountains.
The most obvious similarity between them is that they mean “go down”.
The sole similarity between them is negative connotations, namely being the opposite of “get better”.
They are similar in terms of all meaning straight diagonal lines on a graph.
They are similar when you look at the shape of the line, which in these cases are curved.
They chief similarity between them is prepositions which mean “in the end”.
They have something in common, being is a connection to water.
They resemble each other in that they refer to going both up and down.
They share a connection with flying.
They share one feature, which is meaning “not change”.
They share positive connotations, meaning “getting better”.
What links them is being actions that people etc can do to change things.
What they have in common is meaning “go up quickly”.
What they most have in common is including numbers.
What ties them together is a connection with physical size.
Compare your answers as a class but without looking at this page (to make you use the useful phrases).
Trends and comparing/ contrasting
Language of trends the same or different Comparing/ contrasting version
Use comparing and contrasting language to talk about how similar or different the words and expressions above below and what any differences are. Each time first say how similar or different they are, then what the (main) differences are. If there are more than two, they are all the same or all different. After your discussion, write an equals sign or an equals sign with a cross through it next to each line below.
Both of them/ All of them…
The (main/ chief/ most apparent/ most obvious/ sole/ only) similarity between them is…
They (could be said to) share…
They are similar with respect to/ in terms of/ when you look at…
They are similar/ linked/ related in that…
They have something/ one or two things/ many things/ much in common.
They resemble each other in that…
They share some features, for example…/ They share one feature, which is…
What links them/ unifies them/ ties them together is…
What they (most) have in common is…
Despite their (great/ important/ obvious) differences/ Although they have (great/ obvious/ important) differences, they are similar in so much as…
rise/ rise up
grow/ grow up
increase/ go up
rocket/ soar/ take off
increase at the same rate/ sustain its (good) progress
attain…/ reach (the level of)…/ rise to…
plateau at…/ peak at…
stay flat/ flatten out
flatten out/ level off
stabilize/ remain stable
bottom out/ plateau
bounce back/ recover/ regain lost ground/ rebound/ be restored/ pick up (again)
dive/ plummet/ plunge/ crash/ collapse
drop/ fall/ decrease/ go down
fall/ fall back
rose by 20%/ rose to 20%
fluctuate between 10 and 20/ rise from 10 to 20
accelerate/ increase exponentially/ increase more (and more) quickly
decrease dramatically/ decrease rapidly
dip a little/ dip briefly
fall sharply/ fall slightly
remain steady/ rise steadily
increase at the same rate/ rise steadily
significant decline/ steady decline
be unstable/ fluctuate
remain constant/ remain stable/ stay flat/ stay at the same level
a peak/ (a new/ an all-time) high
a blip/ a dip
double and double again/ rise fourfold
rose by a third/ tripled
just over a third/ almost a third/ around (= approximately/ about) a third
just under a third/ almost a third/ nearly a third
it declined/ it had declined
it declined/ it has declined
it will shoot up/ it would shoot up
the rise caused…/ the rise was caused by…
an upward trend/ the upward trend
When things are different above, which is more likely to be useful in an academic setting?
Are there any phrases which you are really unlikely to be able to use?
Use as many phrases from above as you can to describe the graphs that your teacher gives you.
Use similar language to compare and contrast different lines on a graph, single lines at different times, and overall trends against shorter periods.
Trends and comparing/ contrasting
Phrases for talking about similarities and differences presentation and practice
Try to think of or remember at least two expressions for each of the spaces below. Some spaces have many more than two possibilities.
_________________________________________________________________ of them…
The _______________________________________________similarity between them is…
They are _________________________________________________________in that…
They are similar _______________________________________ (where they come from).
They have ____________________________________________________in common.
They share _____________________________________________________________,…
What _____________________________________________ them (_______________) is…
They are ________________________________________________________identical.
They are _____________________________________________________the same.
They are __________________________________________________________ similar.
_______________________ differences, they are similar in so much as…
They are ___________________________________________________________different.
A is ______________________________________________….er/ more…/ less… than B.
A is _____________________________________________________________ as… as B.
The ______________________________________________________________________ difference between A and B is…
A ____________________________________________________________________ difference between A and B is…
They are _________________________________________________________ opposites.
Check your answers with the worksheets above.
Paste a line graph into a Word document and underneath write at least 200 words, including:
- They are (absolutely/ almost) identical.
- They are (exactly/ very nearly/ almost/ nearly/ practically/ basically/ fundamentally/ more or less) the same.
- They are (remarkably/ surprisingly/ really very/ very/ rather/ quite/ fairly) similar.
- They are (completely/ totally/ very/ clearly/ quite/ fairly/ slightly) different.
- … is (far far/ far/ much/ a lot/ a great deal/ … times/ considerably/ substantially/ quite a lot/ a little/ a bit/ slightly/ very slightly/ a tiny bit) ….er/ more…/ less… than…
- …is (three times/ twice/ one and half times/ exactly/ very nearly/ almost/ nearly / three quarters/ half/ not quite/ not nearly) as… as …
- The (biggest/ most important/ most significant/ most obvious/ clearest/ only/ sole) difference between… and… is…
- A (great/ slight/ minor) difference/ (An important/ obvious) difference between … and… is…
- They are (complete/ almost complete/ almost) opposites.
- …, whereas…/ … However,…/ … In (complete/ total) contrast,…
– Description of the most important parts of the graph
– Comparisons (e.g. between different parts of the graph or with different times, places or topics)
– Reasons for and consequences of the trends
– Future predictions
Write an essay of at least 200 words comparing and contrasting two things related to your area of interest, for example:
– Academic writing in two or more countries, e.g. British and American
– The ideas of two or more experts/ schools of experts
– The meanings of a term in two or more different areas
– The past and present consensus
– Two or more academic areas
– Two or more academic publications
– Two or more academic writing style guides
– Two or more causes for something
– Two or more consequences of something
– Two or more different processes
– Two or more government policies
– Two or more ideas of one person
– Two or more ideologies
– Two or more pieces of research (e.g. some qualitative and some quantitative research)
– Two or more related terms
– Two or more solutions to something
– Two or more theories/ explanations of something
PDF for easy saving and printing: Trends and comparing contrasting
IELTS Writing Part One page
Trends games/ worksheets for EFL learners
Comparing/ contrasting page
Teaching IELTS Writing e-book