Vocabulary and grammar for IELTS graphs with a trend.
Updated: September 2023
In IELTS writing task 1 academic you need to write a report about one of the following: a bar chart, a line graph, maps / floor plan, a table, a pie chart or a process diagram.
Line graphs with dynamic data are quite common so in this post, I will look at describing a line graph and the type of grammar and vocabulary that is needed for this task. Try the practice exercise at the end.
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
5. Further practice
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 (sample sentences)
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 and they must be used accurately. Click here for a more detailed lesson on how to use prepositions in writing task 1.
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%
The line graph below shows exports of rubber ducks from 2013 to 2017.
This task is not an official Cambridge task, this is for practice purposes only.
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, the figure _______ _____ until 2015 and ______ ____ by 2016 to approximately 13,000 units. However, ______ 2016 ___ 2017 exports _______ _____ ending ___ around 2,000 units.
In contrast, the proportion of rubber duck exports from the EU in 2013 amounted to 30, 000 units and ______ _______ but then _______ somewhat ____ 2015 to 21,000 units. Subsequently, exports ______ ______ to over 33,000 units in 2016 and _______ at 40,000 units ____ 2017. Regarding the UK, export figures accounted for 20,000 in 2013 and after a slight dip ______ _______ every year ______ 2014 comprising 40,000 units ____ 2017.