LIKES AND DISLIKES
I (absolutely) love …
I’m crazy about …
I (really) like …
I’m really into …
I’m a big fan of …
I’m quite keen on …
I don’t mind …
I have mixed feelings
I don’t (really) have
any strong feelings
… is OK.
I hate …
I can’t stand …
I don’t (really) like …
I’m not (really) into …
I’m not a big fan of …
I’m not that keen on …
TYPICAL WEEKDAY ACTIVITIES
go to work/school/university/the library
catch the bus/train
TYPICAL WEEKEND ACTIVITIES
catch up with friends
hang out with friends
go out for lunch
ADVERBS OF FREQUENCY
during the week
when I get the chance
every so often
from time to time
once a week
ORGANISING YOUR TALK
|Beginning||OK, so I’m going to talk about …|
|Where||First of all, I’ll talk about where I’d go …|
|Who||Next, I’ll mention who I’d go with …|
|What||Thirdly, what I would do …|
|Why||Finally, I want to say why this holiday would be so enjoyable for me …|
|End||And so that brings me to the end of my talk.|
USEFUL SPEAKING STRATEGIES
|1 Paraphrase a word or phrase to check the listener knows what you mean (clarify)||Out of season, you know, not in the main holiday period.|
|2 Paraphrase a word or phrase you don’t know||I’m not sure of the word exactly but it means …|
|3 Avoid a long hesitation||Erm, let me see …|
|4 Refer back to something that you said earlier||As I mentioned earlier …|
|5 Say you can’t remember something||I can’t quite remember the name of the place …|
PHRASES FOR ANSWERING PART 3 QUESTIONS
one reason for this is …
another reason is …
this is (could/might be) because/due to …
this probably happens because …
Agree and disagree
I definitely agree that …
that’s right …
to some extent that’s true; however …
I’m not sure I agree with that because …
on the whole …
generally speaking …
many people think that …
in my country …
Speculate about the future
it’s likely that …
I’m pretty sure that …
(fifty) years from now we will …
I don’t think we will …
X is (far) more …
X is … while on the other hand Y is .. .
there’s a big difference between X and Y
if we compare X and Y then . . .
Agree and disagree
the good thing about X is …
the problem with X is …
… another positive point about X is …
a further disadvantage of X is …
The graph indicates the growth in the service sector and the decline in the manufacturing sector.
This graph shows how two programs performed over a ten-year period.
The graph compares changes in the annual rainfall in four cities.
Information is provided/is given in this graph about the gradual growth of productivity for several firms.
This graph provides data about three trends: … , … , and … .
rise (v) Production costs rose to their highest level of the year in July.
rise (n) There was a rise in production costs to the highest level of the year in July.
go up (v) Between 1900 and 2000, the population went up by over a million people.
grow (grew, grown) (v) The number of first-time users grew rapidly in 2015.
growth (n) There was a rapid growth in the number of first-time users in 2015.
increase (v) The numbers of cyclists increased between 2005 and 2010.
increase (n) There was an increase in the number of cyclists between 2005 and 2010.
decline (v) The construction of new homes declined for ten years in succession.
decline (n) There was a decline in the number of new homes for ten years in succession.
go down (v) After a brief rise, imports went down again.
decrease (v) Average test scores decreased at three of the schools.
decrease (n) There was a decrease in test scores at three of the schools.
drop (v) In 2008, foreign investment dropped by over 20%.
drop (n) In 2008, there was a drop in foreign investment of over 20%.
fall (fell, fallen) (v) The number of overseas students fell in 2073.
fall (n) There was a fall in the number of international students in 2013.
stay the same The company’s market share stayed the same.
remain constant For three months, the percentage remained constant.
UP AND DOWN ↑↓↑↓
fluctuate (v) The number of seasonal workers employed by the company fluctuates each year.
fluctuation (n) There have been fluctuations in the number of seasonal workers employed by the company.
go up and down (v) Fares have gone up and down over the last few months.
PREPOSITIONS OF TIME
at (+ time of day) at noon; at 8 a.m.
on (+ date/day of the week) on 1st October; on Mondays
in (+ month/season/year/decade/century) in June; in the summer; in 2014; in the 1990s; in the 21 st century
for (a period of time) for ten years; for the next several months
by (before or at a specific point in time) by 10th April; by the end of 2016
until (up to a certain point) until December 31; until 2020; until the beginning of 2014
from … to/between … and (starting points and ending points) from 2001 to 2015;
between 1st January and 30th June
before/after (+ point in time) before 5:00 p.m.; after the 19th century
around (+ period of time or point in time) around 1997; for around six months
during (for the duration of a period of time) during the 1980s; during the winter; during April
ADVERBS AND ADJECTIVES
UP OR DOWN QUICKLY ↑↓
rapidly (adv) The number of smartphones in use has risen rapidly over the last ten years.
rapid (adj) In this decade, there was a rapid increase in smartphone use.
suddenly (adv) Employment figures dropped suddenly during the following ten years.
sudden (adj) The next decade saw a sudden decrease in employment figures.
sharply (adv) The price of textbooks rose sharply.
sharp (adj) There was a sharp rise in the price of textbooks.
dramatically (adv) Exports fell dramatically last year.
dramatic (adj) There was a dramatic fall in exports last year.
significantly (adv) Property taxes rose significantly in 2014.
significant (adj) There was a significant rise in property taxes in 2014.
steeply (adv) The number of people attending the event increased steeply in 2013.
steep (adj) The year 2013 saw a steep increase in the number of people attending the event.
major (adj) A major expansion of the company’s marketing department is expected in the next few years.
UP OR DOWN MORE SLOWLY ↗↘
steadily (adv) The number of tourists visiting the park rose steadily.
steady (adj) The park experienced a steady increase in the number of tourists.
gradually (adv) The population of the province gradually declined.
gradual (adj) There was a gradual decline in the population of the province.
slightly (adv) Bus fares may go up slightly.
slight (adj) A slight increase in bus fares is expected.
minor (adj) There were minor fluctuations in the value of raw materials.
Some line graphs make predictions about the future. When you are describing a projection, you should use language that indicates that these activities take place in the future and that the data is uncertain.
might + infinitive The costs of doing business in Country B might rise next year.
may+ infinitive Government revenues may go down again during the next quarter.
will + probably + infinitive According to the graph, the number of websites
will probably double over the next few years.
is + probably + going to + infinitive There is probably going to be an increase in the number of television dramas this autumn.
noun + is predicted A sudden increase in tourism is predicted.
is predicted + to + infinitive The number of tourists is predicted to rise.
noun + is expected A decline in the average age is expected.
noun + is expected + to + infinitive The average age is expected to go down.
It is expected that + clause It is expected that the average age will decrease.
around The population grew by around a million people in that decade.
about According to the chart, about 45%of all people surveyed believe in UFOs.
roughly Roughly 300,000 units were manufactured in factory A in 2005.
approximately Approximately 4,000 more people attended this year’s parade.
almost The vacancy rate for hotel rooms is almost zero in August.
nearly Nearly 90% of people in the country agreed with this decision.
just over Just over 2.5 billion people worldwide own digital cameras.
just under This state has just under 300 days of sunshine a year
NUMBERS AND AMOUNTS
the number of
The number of serious storms to affect New England rose to 21 this year
the amount of
The amount of natural gas produced this year increased sharply.
There was more rainfall in April than in May.
The chart indicates that fewer people visited this website in 2012 than in 2011.
The factory produced less pollution during 2010 than in the previous year.
(about) the same as
The amount of time it takes to complete task A is (about) the same as the amount of time it takes to complete task B.
To make these expressions stronger, you can use many, much, fa r: many more than, much more than, far less than.
To make these expressions weaker, you can use slightly or a little: slightly more than, a little less than.
twice as many as
There were nearly twice as many accidents at the factory this year as last year
twice as much as
According to the chart, there was about twice as much coal mined in this county in the 1940s as in the 1990s.
The amount of milk produced at this dairy farm nearly doubled over the five year period.
The number of runners in the race almost doubled between 2000 and 2015.
half as many as
There were only about half as many applications for jobs received in January as there had been in July.
half as much as
A dollar in 1980 was worth around half as much as it had been in 1967.
amount + times + as many as
There were, on average, about three times as many pages in newspapers in country A as in country B.
amount + times + as much as
There was around four times as much traffic in city X as in city Y.
USING THE CORRECT TENSE
Past simple: When a table gives definite past time periods, you should use the past tense.
In the 1950s, about half the population of the United States lived in urban areas.
Present perfect: If you are looking back from now to actions or situations at an earlier time in the past that are in some way connected to the present, you should use the present perfect tense.
The number of internet users has increased significantly since 1998.
Past perfect: You can use the past perfect tense when you are talking about two periods of time in the past.
Only about 15% of the population lived in cities in 1850, but by 2000, that number had reached nearly 70 %.
Possibility in the future: If the table involves projections about the future, use verb forms that expresses possibility in the future.
The urban population may reach 70% by 2025.
Present simple: If no definite time periods are given, you should use the present simple.
People over the age of 65 send and receive the lowest number of text messages.
PIE CHARTS AND MULTIPLE CHARTS
These words can be useful when talking about percentages and about segments of a pie chart.
per cent/percent (used after a number)
About seventy per cent of the population of Singapore is of Chinese ancestry.
percentage (used without numbers)
An important percentage of Canada ‘s electricity is generated by hydroelectric power.
A larger proportion of the national budget is spent on the military than on anything else.
The family spends a significant portion of their income on rent.
Two or three companies control a large share of the paper-product market.
Only a small segment of the population agrees with this idea.
A tiny fraction of the total number of applicants to this university are accepted.
When writing about pie charts, you may also refer to fractions as well as percentages.
three quarters / 75 per cent / three out of four
a half / one half / 50 per cent / one out of two / one in two
a third / one third / one out of three / one in three
a quarter / 25 per cent / one out of four / one in four
a tenth / one tenth / 10 per cent / one out of ten / one in ten
You can combine these words with words such as about, around, approximately, just over, just under, etc.
OTHER USEFUL EXPRESSIONS
Rice accounts for about a third of their diet.
Poisonous snakes make up only about ten per cent of all snakes.
Accidents that occur when drivers are texting represent about a quarter of the total number of car accidents.
Rental properties constitute about a third of all the company’s assets.
NUMBERS AND AMOUNTS
a large proportion
Property taxes make up a large proportion of the city’s income.
a major portion
A major portion of this country’s economy is fuelled by oil exports.
a significant majority
A significant majority of the roads in this district are unpaved.
a large percentage
A large percentage of the cars in this country are made in Japan.
a tiny fraction
The journal can only publish a tiny fraction of the articles it receives.
a mere + number or per cent
A mere five per cent of the people in this country had cell phones in 1995.
a small minority
Just a small minority of people agree with this idea.
a small percentage
Only a small percentage of earthquakes cause major damage.
The inflation rate in Japan was fairly low in 2010; likewise, the rate in Switzerland did not go up much.
The money that the government spends on the arts represents only a tiny portion of the total budget. Similarly, only a small amount is spent on social services.
The number of male faculty members stayed the same. However, six new female faculty members were hired.
on the other hand
The number of radio stations playing classical music declined; on the other hand, two new news stations opened.
In 2010, the average age in Japan was 44.6 years; in contrast, in Yemen, the average age was only 16.4 years.
whilst / while
Whilst the price of gold shot up in September, the price of silver remained about the same.
Although health care remained a significant portion of families’ budget in 2005, it wasn’t as high as in 2004.
The number of marriages declined during that period, whereas the number of divorces increased.
California had a dry winter, but there was a lot of snow in the Rocky Mountain states.
LIKE, UNLIKE, ALIKE
The cost of shipping, like the cost of packaging has gone up.
Meat, like fish, contains a lot of protein.
Unlike some members of the European Union, the UK does not use the euro as its currency.
The US, unlike Japan, does not have a system of high-speed trains .
… and … are alike (in that)
The healthcare industry and information technology are alike in that they are both adding new jobs.
INTRODUCTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
First, let’s consider the data in the bar chart.
Let’s first …
Let’s first look at the line graph.
Turning to …
Turning to the pie chart, …
Next, let’s examine the data in the second chart.
Having considered … , let’s …
Having considered the bar chart, let’s look at …
Meanwhile, the information in the second graph shows that …
It is clear … that …
It is clear from the data in the chart that …
It is obvious that …
It is obvious that an overwhelming number …
It is easy to see …
It is easy to see which country produces the most …
In conclusion, …
In conclusion, the relationship between the two graphs is …
In brief, …
In brief, the two graphs tell us that …
On the whole, …
On the whole, these graphs show that …
To conclude, …
To conclude, while the first graph tells us that …
From the information …
From the information in the two charts, it’s clear that …
As a final point, …
As a final point, we can say that by comparing the data in these two charts, …
SEQUENCING WORDS AND PHRASES
These words or phrases can be used to describe the steps or stages of a process.
First, a suitable location must be found.
First of all, …
First of all, the water must be purified.
The first step/stage …
The first step in starting a business is to write a business plan.
The process of … begins with …
The process of mining begins with locating a rich source of the mineral.
Next, the raw materials are cleaned.
The next step …
The next step is to test the machine.
Then the tank is filled with water /The water is first filtered and then poured into the tank.
Following this …
Following this, the valve must be opened.
The following step …
The following step is to collect as much information as possible.
After the two types of materials have been separated, they are stored in large containers.
After this, …
After this, you need to pre-heat the oven.
Once funds have been deposited, customers can write checks or withdraw cash.
Finally, the adult female lays eggs and the process begins again.
The final step/stage …
The final step is to make sure that all the parts are correctly connected.
The last step/stage …
The last step in applying to the university is to submit your application before the deadline.
VERB FORMS FOR PROCESS DIAGRAMS
In most process diagrams, the emphasis is on the action, not on the person. Therefore, you will generally use verbs in the passive in your response.
The pigments are then mixed with oil. (Used to describe industrial, agricultural, or business processes.)
Present perfect passive
After a bill has been signed by the president, it becomes law.
Once the students’ papers have been graded, the results are recorded. (In clauses beginning with the signal words Once …. or After … )
is + to + infinitive
The first step is to take the patient’s temperature. The final step is to send the email.
Present simple active
An adult butterfly emerges wet and shaky from its cocoon. (For biological or other natural processes.)
Passive modal verbs
Next, the can of paint should be thoroughly shaken.
The two holes must be lined up carefully. (In a response to a ‘how to’ process: how to paint a room, how to change the oil in your car, etc.)
Imperative (Command) form
First, break the eggs in a bowl and then add milk. Next, heat the oil or butter in a pan. (Can also be used in responses to ‘how to’ processes.)
SIGNAL WORDS FOR ALTERNATIVE STEPS
Sometimes a diagram will show two or more ways to complete a process. You should use signal words to indicate that a process can follow two possible directions.
either / or
At this point, either … or . . . can take place.
The next step is for D2 to happen. Alternatively, D3 might occur.
If B1 happens, then C1 occurs. However, if B2 takes place, C2 happens.
MAPS AND PLANS
USING THE CORRECT TENSE
In the first map, there is no development on the northern part of the beach.
However, in the second map, there is a large hotel on this section of the beach.
Past simple and past perfect
In 1950, there was a coffee shop on the corner of 4th Street and Oak Avenue. However, in 1975, a hotel stood on that corner. By 2010, a bridge across the river had been built.
Past simple/present simple, present perfect, used to
In 2000, King Street was a two-way street, but it is a one-way street today.
The trees have been cut down and the forest has been replaced with a paved parking area.
The shop that used to be on the south side of the street was relocated to the north side.
There was formerly a large playground in the park.
At the moment, there is one sports centre, but three years from now there will be four sports centres in the area.
One common way to locate features on maps is to use compass points.
A new public swimming pool was built to the north of the tennis courts.
A bandstand has been constructed in the centre of the park.
There was formerly an industrial zone in the south-east of the city.
The word just can be used to indicate that two things are close to each other:
The public gardens are just west of Albert Street.
DESCRIBING MAPS AND PLANS
The town hall is in the centre of town. There is now a high-speed train linking the two towns.
The town of Greendale lies 20 kilometres east of Fallsbrook.
The new student residence is located on the east of the campus.
can be found / can be seen
A bookstore can be found on the second floor of the complex.
stand (used mainly for buildings)
The opera house once stood on the corner of Charles Avenue and Rose Street.
A shopping mall has been built just outside of town.
An elementary school was constructed where the factory used to be.
The science lab was greatly expanded.
add on to
A new wing has been added on to the art museum.
Several houses were demolished when the road was constructed.
The open space west of the business park became a residential neighbourhood.
The first two rows of seats in the theatre were removed when the stage was expanded.
The factory was converted to a museum.
The old barn will be transformed into an antique shop.
The gift shop was moved to another part of the art museum.
By 2008, the fire station had been relocated.
ROADS, BRIDGES, ETC
A highway now passes through the centre of town.
A railway used to run between the two towns.
The two skyscrapers are linked by a walkway on the 30th floor.
A bridge connects Travis Island with the mainland.
The light rail system will be extended all the way to the airport next year.
at the junction with
There is a hospital on Cooper Street at the junction with Blake Avenue.
Cars used to cross the river at Pembroke Street, but now they cross the river at Castle Street.
PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE
Behind the supermarket, there is a cinema.
opposite / across … from
A discount store was opposite the medical centre on High Street. A discount store was across the street from the medical centre.
Today, there is a clothing store between the two coffee shops.
A laundry used to be next to the pharmacy.
in front of
There is a news stand in front of the office building.
at one end … and at the other
At one end of the street there was once a bank, and at the other was the City Hall.
Inside the courtyard you can see a garden.
There used to be some vending machines outside the hotel.
in the middle of
A small island lies in the middle of the lake.
EXPRESSING AGREEMENT AND DISAGREEMENT
There are a number of strong arguments to support the idea that people share too much of their private lives on social networks.
I agree that it is better to raise children in a small town.
I agree with the idea that childhood is the happiest time of life.
It is true that there is too much violence in movies.
I share the view that children learn more outside of school than in school.
I support the idea that violent sports such as boxing should be banned.
There are some important reasons to disagree with the idea that teenagers shouldn’t be
allowed to drive a car.
I disagree with the idea that teachers should be paid according to their students’ academic
I do not agree that traffic in the city centre should be restricted during certain times of the day.
I disagree with the proposal that all high-school students should study music.
It is not true that pure scientific research has no practical benefits.
I do not share the view that it is more important to learn how to use a computer keyboard than to learn how to write.
I do not accept the idea that electronic books will completely replace conventional books.
While there are reasons to support the idea that students need time off, I still believe that
the amount of class time should be increased.
It may be true that poverty can never be completely eradicated. However, I think that governments should work harder to reduce the amount of poverty.
I partially agree with the idea that textbooks are too expensive, but …
I do not completely agree that it is better to travel in groups than alone.
I think it is only partly true that violence in video games leads to violence in real life.
I partly agree with the proposal that nurses should be paid as well as doctors …
Certainly, many people feel that games are only fun if you win, but it is not that simple.
LINKING WORDS: CONTRAST AND CONCESSION
On the other hand, …
In contrast, …
Even though …
In spite of …
In the two main paragraphs, you can provide two or three reasons that support each point of view. Use sequencing words and phrases to introduce these sentences so that the paragraph flows smoothly from one reason to another.
First, … I
First of all, …
One reason is that …
The first reason …
For one thing, …
Secondly, … / Thirdly, …
A second/third reason is that …
Another reason is that …
Furthermore, … / In addition, …
Equally important is the fact that …
What’s more, …
One final reason is that …
SUPPORTING YOUR REASONS
You can support your reasons by giving details and other specific information. The ‘three Es’ are effective ways to support your reasons: examples, explanation and experience.
For example / For instance
There are several strong reasons why students should be encouraged to work while they are attending university. One reason is that a part-time job can help prepare them for a career. For example/For instance, a job in a television studio can help a student to prepare for a career in broadcasting.
In other words
There are a number of reasons why the government should provide some support to artists. First of all, financial support gives artists creative freedom. In other words, they are not forced to create art that they can easily sell.
In my experience / In my case
However, there are also reasons why it is preferable to study from traditional textbooks rather than electronic textbooks. For one thing, you can take notes in traditional textbooks easily. In my experience, this is an important way to remember what you have read.
Once, my family had a birthday party for my grandmother at our house and it took nearly all the next day to tidy up.
Clearly, free higher education could benefit people, especially those who cannot otherwise afford to attend college.
Open borders would obviously make it easier for tourists and business people to travel internationally.
Smartphones can certainly serve an educational purpose.
GIVING YOUR OWN OPINION
In my opinion, …
It is my opinion that …
I am of the opinion that …
I am convinced that …
As I see it, …
From my point of view, …
DISAGREEING OR PARTIALLY DISAGREEING
(Personally,) I am not at all convinced that …
… is not always/entirely true.
I do not think that … is justifiable.
I do not share the view that …
In your conclusion, you should summarise the important points made in the main paragraphs.
In general, you do not want to bring up specific points or new ideas.
Conclusions can be introduced with linking words.
In conclusion, there are arguments in favour of free higher education and arguments against it.
In summary /To summarise /To sum up …
To sum up, it is clear why some people support the idea of a ‘world without passports: but it is also clear that there are reasons why some people oppose this concept.
On the whole
On the whole, I do not agree that we should not have passports.
PROBLEM AND SOLUTION ESSAY
Furthermore/Moreover/In addition, …
One cause of … is …
. .. is responsible for .. .
The primary/main cause of … is …
. .. also plays a role in .. .
Perhaps the most important cause of … is …
A second cause of … is …
… also causes/can also cause …
Another cause of … is …
UNCERTAINTY ABOUT CAUSES
If you do not know if a factor is a cause of something or not, you can indicate uncertainty about causes in a number of ways.
One possible cause is …
Perhaps … causes …
Another cause may/might be …
… may/might be responsible for …
… may/might also play a role …
… can also lead to …
GIVING REASONS AND EXAMPLES
These words and phrases can be used to explain why a problem exists.
CAUSE → EFFECT
therefore / consequently
Many drivers lack proper training; therefore, they do not know what to do in an emergency.
Sometimes drivers use their cell phones, so they are too distracted to avoid dangerous situations.
as a result
Sometimes drivers use their cell phones; as a result, they are too distracted to avoid dangerous situations.
results in / accounts for
Equipment failure also plays a role. For example, a loss of brakes results in accidents.
causes / leads to / gives rise to / is responsible for
Bad weather conditions in winter leads to an increase in the number of accidents on the roads.
EFFECT ← CAUSE
because / since
The most important cause of traffic accidents is excessive speed. Because they are travelling so fast, drivers do not have time to react.
due to / because of / owing to
Tiredness is a common cause of traffic accidents. Last year, 50 per cent of accidents were due to drivers not taking frequent breaks whilst driving.
is/are caused by
Poor weather conditions, such as icy roads, may also play a role. In the winter, many accidents are caused by icy roads.
INTRODUCING AND PROPOSING SOLUTIONS
I recommend that young drivers be required to take an additional motorway driving test before they get their driving licence.
My recommendation is that the following steps be taken.
I suggest that the government do this right away.
I propose that the government identify dangerous roads and fix the problems.
Manufacturers should build safer vehicles.
Laws requiring seat belts must be enforced.
Remember, the question asks you to suggest solutions – not just one solution. Use linking words such as first, another, finally and so on, to propose alternative solutions .