Making comparisons in IELTS Writing Task 1

One assessment requirement of IELTS Writing Task 1 is the inclusion of comparative structures to compare features in a graph, or if you’re lucky, two graphs! As your instructions always say:

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Many IELTS candidates tend to ignore this sentence and rush toward producing answers that end up sounding rather mechanical and repetitive. Weak answers would generally show no attempt at discussing any similarities or differences at all.

So, it would be a good idea for students to study the visual information in the task carefully and use some expressions to discuss important characteristics.

Try learning some grammar rules on expressions of comparison. See if you are able to complete the statements below:

  1. Comparatives are formed by adding ‘–er’ to one syllable adjectives and ‘________________’ to adjectives with two or more syllables.
  2. An adjective which ends in ‘____’ takes ‘ier’.
  3. Superlatives are formed by adding ‘the –est’ to __________________ syllable adjectives and ‘the most’ to adjectives with two or more syllables.
  4. An adjective which ends in ‘y’ takes ‘_________’.


Can you also fill the blanks in the table below?

adjective comparative superlative


  • To talk about a_____ difference, we use much, far or a lot.
  • To talk about a small difference, we use slightly, a few or a little.


  1. The number of students doing IELTS this year is much larger than _____ year.
  2. This year, there are a few more people doing General Training than_____.


Now, can you write 10 sentences about the graph below using comparatives and superlatives?

  1. ___________________________________
  2. ___________________________________
  3. ___________________________________
  4. ___________________________________
  5. ___________________________________
  6. ___________________________________
  7. ___________________________________
  8. ___________________________________
  9. ___________________________________
  10. ___________________________________

afdc-electric-vehicles-1991-2015Creative Commons License Michael Hicks via Compfight

Feel free to share your answers with other IELTS students in the Comment box below.

Until next time!
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