IELTS Writing Task 1: 'to' or 'by'
In IELTS writing task 1, you might need to use verbs like increase, decrease, rise and fall. These verbs can be followed by the words 'to' and 'by', but what's the difference?
Let's use these figures:
- Company profit in 2005 = £20,000
- Company profit in 2010 = £25,000
Now compare these sentences:
- Company profit rose to £25,000 in 2010.
- Company profit rose by £5,000 between 2005 and 2010.
It's easy: 'to' is used before the new figure, and 'by' is used to show the change. It's the same when you are talking about a fall.
IELTS Writing Task 1: a common mistake
Students often make mistakes with thousands, millions and billions. It might seem strange, but you should say "10 million" not "10 millions". It's the same with hundred, thousand and billion. Try to avoid this mistake in writing task 1 - examiners notice it!
Correct: 10 million people
Wrong: 10 millions people, 10 millions of people, 10 million of people
When there is no number, we do write "millions of".
e.g. Millions of people travel abroad each year.
IELTS Writing Task 1: repeating key words
Students often worry about repeating the same words in writing task 1. For example, in last week's lesson I repeated the phrase average weekly spendingmaybe three times. Is this a big problem?
No! Repeating a key word or phrase a few times is not a problem; sometimes it is necessary to show that you are consistently talking about the same thing. If you try to use too much variety, there is a danger that you will confuse the reader or write something that does not mean what you want it to mean.
It's fine to either repeat the key words or make small changes. Look at these examples of small changes I made to the phrase average weekly spending:
· spent on average
· average expenditure
· weekly spending figures
· levels of spending
· spent per week