IELTS Writing Vocabulary – IELTS Writing Task 1

This list of IELTS writing vocabulary should come in handy for your Writing Task 1, particularly if you are asked to describe trends.

Let’s take a look at a line graph showing reported tetanus cases in France from 1945-2003.

IELTS Writing Vocabulary

The vocabulary below is remarkably versatile and can more or less describe every trend in the graph.




a rise sharp sharply
an increase gradual gradually
a fall considerable considerably
a decline steady steadily
a drop slight slightly

Just make sure you convert the noun to the past tense when you use it as a verb, like in these examples:

In 1964 there was a slight rise in the number of reported cases of tetanus.

In 1964, the number of reported cases of tetanus rose sharply.

Quick IELTS Writing Vocabulary Quiz

See if you can use the vocabulary from the table to complete the sentences below (Answers at the bottom of the page).

  1. Between 1985 and 2000, the number of reported cases …………………
  2. There was a …………………in the number of cases in the late 1960s.
  3. The number of cases ………………… in the early 1970s.





1)      dropped gradually

2)      sharp drop

3)      rose gradually

IELTS Writing Task 1- Line Graph Language

Line graphs are very popular features of the IELTS Writing Task 1, so learning the language of these graphs can really pay dividends on exam day. This excellent resource from Abu Dhabi Women’s College can help you get all the line graph language you need for IELTS Writing Task One. I have collated some of it here into an easy-to-use reference guide:

Section 1: Adjective-Fall

IELTS Writing Task 1 - Line Graph Language 1

“Dramatic fall” can be replaced with: gradual fall; marked fall; rapid fall; moderate fall; significant fall; sharp fall.

Section 2: Adjective-Increase

IELTS Writing Line Graph Adjective Increase

“Gradual increase” can be replaced with: marked increase; moderate increase; sharp increase; significant increase; slight increase; steady increase; steep increase.

Section 3: Describing Position

IELTS Writing Line Graph Describing Position

“Highest level” can be replaced with “lowest level.”

The site also contains nouns of movement, recovery adverbs, trends and verbs of movement. Take this quick quiz to see if you can match the descriptors with the graphs.

1)      a plateau

2)      recovered slightly

3)      a downward trend

4)      soared

 IELTS Writing Line Graphs
 A  B  C  D


1)      B

2)      C

3)      D

4)      A

Line graphs are a common feature of the IELTS Writing Task 1, so it’s well worth taking the time out to learn this specialist vocabulary.


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