Academic task 1: sentences and grammar to describe a chart

In this lesson we will focus on specific sentence structures for academic task 1.

To describe differences we can use 'adverb clauses of comparison'

To make comparisons we can use a simple structure as shown below, if you are listening I strongly suggest you write these down.

More Europeans prefer Football than Americans.

More Germans prefer vodka than Colombians.

Fewer Italians drink tea than Austrians.

These are simple to start with because they are the base.

Then to pick up more points and show the examiner we can use a variety of structures we can transform them into a passive structure:

Football was chosen by more Europeans than Americans .

Vodka was preferred by more Germans than Colombians.

Tea was drank less by Italians than by Austrians.

Step 3 is to add an adverb

Considerably more Europeans prefer Football than Americans.

Significantly more Germans prefer vodka than Colombians.

Substantially more time is spent on the internet than before.

Be careful because adverbs can be placed in different places:

Production fell significantly

Significant production fell.

Clearly market share tumbled.

Market share tumbled clearly.

Now we have adverbs under control, lets analyse another.

Adverb clause of concession

Definition: Adverb clause of concession implies something surprising is conveyed in the principal clause when compared to the subordinate clause.

Now the key to using this type of clause effectively is to find something that really is a contrast, 'a difference'.

For example you could have a line graph, showing the progression of sales, and suddenly for a particular year the sales slump. In this case we could say:

Although sales reached 20 million in 1993, they crashed to just 1 million in 1992.

Write this structure down, we have the subordinate clause 'Although sales reached 20 million in 1993', then the main clause 'they crashed to just 1 million in 1992'.

Another example:

Although every Asian country was experiencing an increase in urban population figures, Bhutan's figures showed a significant decrease.

Although the number of Welsh pet owners is at its lowest in 1990, it almost doubles in 1993.

To use this structure effectively, ALWAYS place although at the beginning of the sentence, ALWAYS. Yes you can place it in the middle, but I want to give you a simple structure to make passing the exam as stress free as possible, NOT TEACH THE ENTIRE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

So for reasons of simplicity, and exam preparation, just place it at the front, after the exam experiment.

Whereas and while

Very briefly the conjunctions 'while and whereas' are similar except 'while' is slightly less formal and it can be used for comparisons in time; 'She drove while talking on her mobile',

We can use WHEREAS in the middle of the sentence to contrast two ideas.

Females scored higher in analytical subjects, whereas males scored higher in creative disciplines.


Derbyshire allocated the majority of its budget on leisure services, whereas Yorkshire invested hardly any of its budget in leisure.

For most of the years output from English factories grew, whereas in Wales it actually fell.

In 2014, 33% of visitors were from Asia, whereas in 1992 the proportion was just 11%.

More useful resources to help you prepare for IELTS academic task 1