Vocabulary and grammar for line graphs and describing trends.
Updated: April 27th 2021
In Writing task 1 academic you need to write a report about one of the following: It could be a bar chart, a line graph, maps, a table, a pie chart or a process diagram. In this case, we are going to look at describing a line graph in IELTS writing task 1 and the kind of grammar and vocabulary that is needed for this task.
This lesson will look at:
1. Vocabulary for describing a line graph
2. Useful grammar for this task
3. Example of a basic line graph
4. Gap-fill exercise
a period of stability
|Useful Phrases for Task 1 reports|
|showed an upward trend / showed a downward trend|
hit the highest point / hit the lowest point
reached a peak / showed some ﬂuctuation / ﬂuctuated wildly
remained stable / remained static / remained unchanged /stayed constant
reached a plateau / levelled off / ﬂattened out
the highest / the lowest / the second highest / the third highest
compared to / compared with / relative to
1. Sales of ice cream flattened out toward the end of the period.
2. Sales of ice cream showed some fluctuation between 2000 and 2008.
3. Car export figures hit the lowest point in 2014.
4. The figure for CO2 emissions was the third highest among the four countries.
5. Coal exports showed a downward trend throughout the 10 year period.
6. The number of cars sold levelled off in the last part of the 20 year period.
Collocations to describe trends
1. There was a substantial increase in the value of stocks on March 15th.
2. House prices rose dramatically in July.
3. The number of tourists visiting New York fell sharply in October.
4. The number of students studying Economics rose gradually from 2001 to 2010.
5. There was a sharp increase in employee turnover after the strike.
6. Interest in environmental issues has risen steadily over the last 10 years.
7. The proportion of biofuels used in Germany in 2009 rose marginally from 30% to 32%.
Prepositions are needed to describe dates and statistics:
From 2001 to 2010,
Between 1965 and 1969
Over a ten year period
An Increase of 25%.
Decreased by 10%.
Fell from 200 in July to 150 in August.
Dropped from 200 units to 120 units in a period of 6 months.
Rose sharply over a period of 5 years.
Started at one third and peaked at three thirds
Fell from 30% to just over 20%
Note: This task is not an official Cambridge task, this is for practice purposes only.
The line graph below shows exports of rubber ducks from 2013 to 2017.
Fill in the gaps.
Exports of rubber ducks in the USA ____ 2013 started ____ 10,000 units and then _______ to around 15,000 units. After that, export numbers _______ _____ until 2015 and ______ ____ by 2016 to around 13,000 units. However, ______ 2016 ___ 2017 exports _______ _____ ending ___ approximately 2,000 units.
In contrast, the proportion of rubber ducks exports from the EU ______ ___ 30, 000 units and ______ _______ but then _______ somewhat ____ 2015 to 21,000 units. Subsequently, the figure ______ ______ to over 33,000 units in 2016 and _______ at 40,000 units in 2017. Likewise, in the UK exports _______ ________ every year from 2014 ending at 40,000 units ___ 2017.
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