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Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 1 Line Graph

This lesson looks at some essential words to describe a line graph in IELTS writing task 1. To get a good band score you must show the examiner a range of different words to show upward and downward trends. IELTS line graphs show change over a period of time and you must vary your language when you write your report.

Line Graph Vocabulary

ielts line graph vocabulary

Mistakes when using words will affect your band score. To get band score 6, you must have only some errors with a range of vocabulary. To get band score 7, you must have few errors with a good range of vocabulary.


Fill in the gaps with the vocabulary from the table above. Make sure you adapt the words to make the sentences grammatically correct. The completed paragraph below is an example of a body paragraph for a line graph.

line graph vocab practice

Fill in the gaps with the correct vocabulary. You should use no more than two words for each gap.

The number of cases began at 100 in 1983 and then the figure 1. …………………… steadily to reach 200 in 1987. In the following year, there was 2. …………………… back to 100 before rising to 3. …………………….. 400 in 1989. The number4.  ………… slightly to 350 in 1991 and then 5. ……………….. dramatically to a low of 0 in 1992.

  1. rose / increased / climbed / grew / went up
  2. a fall / a decline / a slump / a decrease
  3. peak at
  4. dropped / fell / declined / decreased
  5. dropped / fell / declined / decreased (it is also possible to use “plummeted” or plunged)


Recommended Lessons

 IELTS Line Graph Model: click here
IELTS Video: how to write a line graph complex sentence, click here
IELTS Video: the 4 main complex sentences, click here
Video Lesson: IELTS writing answer sheet, click here

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  1. anateresa says:

    Hello Liz!
    I took the IELTs and had been talking about table when it was a bar graph.I was surprised that I got 7.

  2. Can I use helicopter view in place of overview?

    • That is 100% inappropriate. This is not descriptive or creative writing – it is a factual report – an overview is an overview (overall).

  3. Manpreet singh says:

    Hello liz,

    I have a question, which is best write overview after introduction or as conclusion in last.!!

  4. Sujeet Singh says:

    In IELTS listening-
    Is it same to write singular / plural. For eg: Doctor / Doctors
    will it be treated as same & correct or it will be marked as incorrect and marks will be deducted.

  5. ma’am i really impressed by your techniques and style. literally appreciate the efforts you done in wonderful way.

  6. Hi. Thank you for giving me a lot of helpful tools!
    I got a question, is it possible to apply the words list of line graph for other types of illustration questions ?

    • The vocabulary for line graphs actually is vocabulary for describing change over a period of time. Any pie chart, table or line graph which shows this will use that type of language.

  7. hi liz in number 3 ( why you don’t say “to a peak of “

    • The word “to” has already been given in the sentence so you don’t need it in the answer. The answer is “peak at” because the word “peak” is used as a verb, not a noun in this sentence.

      • Hi Liz,
        you’ve mentioned that in number 3 “peak”is used as a verb?
        Can you explain it little bit?

        • You can write “reach a peak of” = peak is used as a noun.
          You can write “it peaks at” = peak is used as a verb.
          The word “peak” can be used as both a noun and a verb.

  8. Natalie wong says:

    Liz, Do we need to suggest possible reasons leading to the phenomenon shown in the graph?

  9. As'ad Saleh says:

    Hi Liz,

    If I want to use “etc.”, can I just write it? Or should I change it into a more formal style?

  10. Hello Liz, as for speaking test, do I also need to paraphrase the question ? For example, ” do you go otut in the evening “?
    Can I just say : Yes, I go out in the evenng.
    Or should I change the order ?

    • The Examiner wants to hear your English to test it. Do you think it;s a good idea to repeat the words in the same order that he/she uses 100%? If the question is “Do you go out in the evening?”, you can answer “Yes, I do but not every evening. I stay home most week days but I go out to the cinema often at weekends.”

  11. Hi Ms. Liz,
    Can I write a declination on instead of a decline of…
    Thanks in advance.

  12. Hello, teacher Liz. I’m Japanese male.
    I bumped into this magnificent IELTS website by chance and got tremendous amount of useful information about IELTS through your lessons. I can’t thank enough because there are still few reliable exam tips in my country.

    By the way, is there an expression like this below? For writing task 1 (line graph)

    The figure rose to a high of 40 grams in 2007.

    I confirmed there is an expression like ‘dropped/fell to a low of A’ . So I wondered if there was the very opposite expression and consulted dictionaries but couldn’t find out.
    I’d like to know if you were not busy. Thank you.

    • The sentence you gave is exactly right. The number fell to a low of / the number dropped to a low of // the number rose to a high of / the number rose to a peak of / the number reaches a peak of / the number peaked at – all fine.

      • Hi Liz….
        Could you pls tell me, do we write values after prepositions such as ‘at’, ‘to’ and ‘of’?
        The figure rose to a peak of 12,000. Is it right?

  13. Thank you very much 🙂

  14. Thank you…for your crucial advice.

  15. Thank you….for your precious advice.

  16. Hi, Liz! Thank you very much for your teaching – it is precious for me! I just have one question. What is the difference between “some” and “few” mistakes in numbers? How it could be calculated?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Frequent = band 5, some = band 6 and few = band 7. It is about the frequency that they occur. There is no specific number.

  17. you are a very good teacher

  18. hi liz, I’d like to say thank you for your lessons they are really helpful, easy to comprehend and remember. I regain my confidence to pass the ielts whenever I watch your videos and study your lessons. thank u..

  19. hello mam..i am belong to non-english country and that’s the problem of understanding all meaning. i have technically good knowledge but due to English i nervous most of the time to think how to improve my English.. Moreover, i have completed software engineering and have fully knowledge to build any software or websites even though this website i also able to build as same as yours…now i want to study further and need overall 6 band to get admission in university but still i nervous about it..mam if you give me a good advice about my problem than i am very very thankful to you and also never forget to you

  20. hi liz
    my doubt is to use the word plateau,steep signifies increase trend or decrease.

  21. hı teacher, I m Emre really you are a perfect teacher and ı want to meet wıth you really ı need to help teacher can you help me beacuse ı wıll take an ıelts exam and ı want to take 6 score

  22. Hi Liz!

    My name is Karen. I just want to ask, if you will be the one to take the exam what will you do first, the task 1 or the task 2? Which one would you recommend?. Thanks!

    • Personally I would do task 1 first and then task 2. However, you must decide for yourself. The key is not which one to do first, the key is controlling the time you spend on each one. Task 1 = 20mins and task 2 = 40 mins. You must stick to that timing.

  23. Hello madam.! Please give me some tips and suggestions for reading …..

  24. Hi Liz,
    Can I use “plummeted dramatically”? Or plummeted alone? Is it redundant?

    Thanks ☺️

    • Don’t add “dramatically”. The word plummet means that the movement is strong and sharp so you don’t need adverbs.

      • Which preposition is most suitable to represent values after plummeted and rocketed?

        It plummeted to/at 20 thousands?????????

        • “to”. You use “to” when it reaches a destination point. However, the words “plummet” and “rocket” are not often used because lines in IELTS do not often show such staggering changes.

  25. Currently, I am struggling with the reading section of IELTS. My writing and speaking g are not good so I am trying to get maximum marks in my reading and listening section. What should I do?

    • Hi Ms. Liz,
      First of all thanks for sharing your knowledge to everyone, this is such a great help to all of us ( IELTS takers).

      In academic writing task 1, in your first paragraph after you paraphrase the information( line graph, table, diagram, etc), I have noticed in your model answers, it is always followed with ‘ Overall’…

      My question is in writing task 1, do I need to write a summary as my last paragraph? Because, I didn’t see that in your model answers.


  26. If we want to describe a pie chart or bar diagrams
    We can describe like this

    ” the greatest 67 % dogs followed by cat , fish and rabbits 12 ,13 and 19 ”

    In above answer instead of ‘followed by ‘ what word we can use . because in the same sentence we can describe more data and iam preparing for pte in short time we need to discuss more data about it
    Instead of ” FOLLOWED BY “

    • There are serious grammar problems with this sentence. “the greatest proportion could be seen in dogs, which accounted for 67%, and was followed by cats, fish and rabbits ( 12%, 13% and 19% respectively).”

  27. No article in front of peak?
    I am really happy to find out this site. Thank you so much with all information put on here.

  28. satwinder kaur says:

    how can i minimize the gramatical mistakes in my speaking. plz mam suggest me and i have my exam on 22nd may 2016.

    • During your test, you can’t afford to focus on grammar. You should just speak naturally and focus on expanding answers. It takes a lot of time to make English more accurate – certainly more than one day.

  29. Hii liz,
    I have one question “13th January” is one word or two word?

  30. Rakesh soni says:

    How can I download your audio clips

  31. Hi Liz
    Is there any difference between plummet and plunge that we need to be careful when writing task 1?

  32. Your videos taught me more ….than others….!
    I’m your fan too…..
    I’m much worried about my speaking can u suggest any tips because its almost 2weeks more for my test….

  33. uttam singh says:

    Mam i ask to examiner i have done +2 then i started english traning bcz i like to go to abroad for futher study it is a write or not

  34. Hi Liz
    Thanks.I am very new to ielts from where I have to start preparing for it, there is no training center in my home town so plz guide me. Waiting for your reply …..

  35. Amos Kaleem says:

    Hello madam.

    I am Truly thankful to you I was a duffer in English even was neither understand to English nor speaking but I made up one’s mind to take admission an Ielts. I am not a great deal of genuine I am still struggling I have been follow your instructions for 2 months I learnt a much.
    Thank you Madam.
    May God Bless you

  36. Ms. Benish says:

    Hello Liz
    This site is really helpful and i have found it very easy to use. It has cleared all my questions which made me confused while preparing for IELTS.
    I am very happy and welcome your lessons in my mailbox.
    Thank You

    • I’m glad my site is helpful. IELTS doesn’t need to be confusing. Spend as much time as you can reading all pages.
      All the best

  37. Mamun Reza says:

    Thanks Liz for these wonderful lessons. They are very helpful.

  38. Hi Liz
    I am John from Burma.I am not used to the IELTS.But when I came across your blog,it is really impressive.Moreover,your effort is obvious and I appreciate that.
    Thank you.

  39. Nikunj Patel says:

    Your lessons really helpfull…thanks a lot…
    please give me the exact format for all types of essay

  40. Hi Liz,

    In this model essay, you wrote zero as 0, I thought that any number below ten should be written as a word. I’m a bit confused here.
    Many thanks

    • Descriptive numbers below 10 are written as words. Data from the charts is always written as a number regardless of if it is under 10 or not.

  41. Can I use the word ‘intersect’ for two lines on a line graph that meet at the same point. For example, The number of students who study English and the number of students who study Spanish intersect at 50%.

    Thanks so much!

    • “intersect” actually means they meet and them part. In other words, the cross each other. “to converge” means that they meet and stay together. I can’t comment on a sentence without seeing the actual graph.
      All the best

  42. Hi liz can you evaluate it?

  43. Moumita Ghosh says:

    Hi Liz,
    This site is full of knowledge and it is really Awsm. Could me please help in this that is For the task 1 it is always needed to write in simple past to present the data of the graphs? Can not we use perfect tense for the same.

    • The tense you use to writing your task 1 depends on the dates given, ie past dates, future dates or no dates (present tense).

  44. Debasree Banik Rajan says:

    I believe that your lecture is sufficient to get sufficient band score. I am pleased .

  45. jaspreet kaur says:

    hey mam… your blog is really helpful..i have given my ielts exam …and now i am teaching as a ielts trainer…i take tips from here to teach my students…this is really helpful… i wish i could have taken help from here when i gave my exam… thanks for the info mam….:)

  46. Dear Liz

    Thank you so much for your lessons. I want to take exam and I have checked so many references before I found your website very useful and I recommend my friends to go through your website.

    Kind Regards,


  47. Hi Liz,
    Do you have any suggestions with my work below? I would really appreciate for your comment. Thank you so much.

    The line graph shows the amount of cases of X disease in Someland over a 9 years period, from 1983 to 1992.

    The number of cases began at 100 in 1983 and remained almost constant for two years until it steadily rose to 200 in 1987. Following the increase, a fall back of 50% was noted in 1988.

    However, it immediately recovered with a steep increase and reached its peak to 400 in 1989. A slight drawback of 50 cases was then noted on the next year and remained at 350 in 1991.

    Furthermore, it dramatically decreased to a low of zero in the year, 1992.

    Overall, a fluctuating trend was observed for X disease cases in Someland between 1983 to 1992. There was no case noted in 1992 as compared to 1989 where it marked its highest number of 400.

  48. If i write my own essays which are depend on task 1,Will you check them out? Thanks beforehand.

  49. Good day Liz. Please comment on my work. Any suggestions? THANK YOU SO MUCH 🙂

    The line graph shows information on the amount of X disease cases reported in Someland over a 9-year period, from 1983 to 1992.

    Overall, the number of X disease cases has fluctuated between 1983 and 1982. Surprisingly, there was no case found in 1992 as compared in 1989 where the most amount of X disease cases was noted.

    The amount of case started at 100 in 1983. From this time, the number remained almost steady for two years until it gradually increased to 200 in 1987. Markedly, the number of cases dropped by 50% in 1988.

    Furthermore, the amount of X disease cases in Someland significantly rose from 100 in 1988 to 400 in 1989, an increase of 300 cases to be exact. Following the increase, the figure started to decrease slowly until it experienced a huge drop by exactly 100% from 1991 to 1992. From a record of 350 cases in 1991 to zero case in 1992.

    • It’s good. Be careful with your grammar “the number of cases has fluctuated” should be past simple not a prefect tense. Also make sure you remember to write the “s” on “number of cases”. Otherwise, it’s good.

  50. Mahmud Salem says:

    Hi Liz .
    I was wandering whether it is correct to write in task1 words such as ( infer, deduce , extrapolate ) for example . Overall, it should be deduced from the pie chart that the proportion of female graduates grew exponentially over the period given. It can also be extrapolated that the most sought-after job amid female graduates was nursery.

    • It looks like vocabulary you have learned in order to get a higher score and isn’t at all natural for an IELTS report. I wouldn’t recommend trying that – the examiner knows all the tricks students try to get a score higher than their own level of English.

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