# Writing Task 1 – Compare and Contrast Data – Language – Numbers

## In any chart or graph you have numbers which you must describe. Remember that the TASK is to say what is different about the numbers (Contrast) and to say what is the same about them too (Compare).

Let us look at these TWO NUMBERS:

30 (Number A)
35 (Number B)

There are several ways to say that these two numbers are different.

For example:

Number A is smaller than Number B or Number B is bigger than Number A

How many other ways can you think of?

Now that you have seen that there are a few different ways of describing how two numbers are different, what do you notice about the language?

SPOT THE MISTAKE!
Look at the contrast between these two numbers and see if you can see what the mistake is:

50 (Number A)
45 (Number B)

Number A is lower than number B.

MISTAKE STOPPER

This is a common mistake when contrasting two numbers, but to stop making a mistake REMEMBER to decide which number you are starting with. It is that number that you are contrasting with the other number. For example if we start with Number A, we can see it is bigger than Number B so we can use any of the words in the BIG COLUMN (SEE BELOW).

So we can say NUMBER A IS HIGHER THAN NUMBER B or NUMBER A IS BIGGER THAN NUMBER B.
Small        Big
Less/        more than
Lower/        higher than
Smaller/    bigger than

Get More Marks
If you can be more specific when describing numbers you will get more marks, but how can you be more specific with numbers like:
50 (Number A)
45 (Number B)

We can say that one number is SLIGHTLY higher/bigger/more than another. This means that the number is bigger, but not by a lot, maybe by no more than 5 or 6.
Number A is slightly bigger than Number B OR Number A is a little higher than Number B.

Now write a sentence for the same numbers above, but beginning with Number B.

Now look at these two numbers:

50 (Number A)
70 (Number B)

When there is a BIG DIFFERENCE, but still no direct relationship like with the numbers 50 and 100 for example, we can say that one number is SIGNIFICANTLY lower/smaller/less than another number.

This means that the number is bigger by quite a lot, maybe by about 10 or 20.

Describing Number A

Number A is significantly lower than Number B OR Number A is significantly less than Number B.

Now write a sentence for the same numbers above, but beginning with Number B.

LESSON SUMMARY

This lesson has shown you what language we use to describe numbers that DO NOT HAVE A RELATIONSHIP in IELTS Writing Task 1.
•    Find another number to contrast it against
•    Look at whether the first number is bigger or smaller than the second number
•    Then use one of the words in the correct column to describe it
•    If there is only a small difference we can use the word SLIGHTLY in front of the word
•    If there is a big difference we can use the word SIGNIFICANTLY in front of the word

IELTS EXAM PRACTICE

Look at the following TABLE

Country    SPORT    REALITY    NEWS    QUIZ SHOWS
UK    50    20    90    100
USA    70    25    80    80
CHINA    55    30    70    85

Title: The number of people who watch different types of television programmes in three different countries per month. Numbers in thousands.

Now let us put the language you have just learnt into practice.

This is a table which you might find in WRITING TASK 1. If we look at the table we can see there are three countries and four different types of television programmes. The numbers relate to the number of different people in the three countries in thousands who watch the programmes.

Look at this typical sentence which you will write in WRITING TASK 1:

The number of people who watch reality programmes in the UK is slightly more than the number of people who watch it in USA.

The contrast is joined with two parts:

the number of people who…in…  & the number of people who…in…

I CAN WRITE IT!
Write two CONTRASTING sentences like the above ones for the category of SPORT:

CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE COMPLETED CONTRASTING NUMBERS WITHOUT RELATIONSHIPS.