I had a student ask me about the different ways to use words like “double” and “twice” in IELTS Writing Task 1. These can be surprisingly difficult words to use correctly. Let’s take a look at a few popular ways to use these words:
1. double, triple, increase twofold, etc. (verb phrases)
In the first two examples here, the basic form of the sentence is subject + verb + time span. Time span is not necessary but does add useful information to the sentences.
One common alternative for double and triple is the verb + adverb phrase “increased twofold” or “increased threefold”. The only other point to note here is that the adverb “nearly” comes between “increased” and “threefold”.
- Example 1: Profits doubled from year 1 to year 4.
- Example 2: The amount of compost nearly tripled over the period shown in the chart.
- Example 3: The amount of compost increased nearly threefold over the period shown in the chart.
2. twofold increase, etc. (noun phrases)
It’s also common to use “increase” as a noun with “twofold” working as an adjective together with the be verb. For whatever reason, this form is usually used for increases rather than decreases.
- Example 1: There was a twofold increase from year 1 to year 4.
- Example 2: There was a nearly threefold increase in the amount of compost over the period shown in the chart.
3. double, triple, half, twice, etc. (predeterminers)
Double and triple are predeterminers which include multipliers (double, twice, four/five times . . . .) as well as fractions (one-third, three-quarters, half, etc.). They are most commonly used when making comparisons.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
- Example 1: The profits in year 4 were double / twice the profits in year 1.
- Example 2: 2009 statistics show triple / three times the amount of recycling as 2006.
- Example 3: The number of people traveling by bus was half as much in 2005 when compared to 2010.
- Example 4: Twice as many people travelled by bus in 2010 compared to 2005.
Look at the chart above. Try to make at least one sentences using each of the patterns above.
The line graph Illustrates the amount of fast food consumption of Australia Teenagers from 1975 to 2000. Three types of items such as pizza, fish and chips, and hamburgers are shown by the number of eaten per year in vertical line.
The line graph clearly elicited that in 1975, the amount of pizza and hamburgers consumption were 5 times per year and these are incredibly increased and consumed 85 times per year. Likewise pizza consumed at the same way from 1995 to 2000; whereas, hamburgers consumption increased over the fifteen years from 1985 to 2000 and was 100 times per year.
On the other hand amount of fish and chips consumption were fluctuated from 1975 to 1985 and these were noticeably decreased until 2000. During this time the amount of fish and chips consumption were 38 times per year.
To be concluded, it is said that in 1975 where the fish and chips consumed 100 times per year there pizza and hamburger consumed only 5 times per year. Since 1985, the amount of fish and chips consumption were replaced by the amount of hamburgers consumption very sharply.
This line chart illustrates the rate of junk food eaten by the teenager in Australia between 1975 and 2000. In general, the most exciting feature is that the numbers had increased all over the years.
According to what it is shown, the rate of fish and chips consumption stood at 100 times per year in 1975, then, it fluctuated slightly for the next decade. Over the following 20 years, there was a gradual decline in the figure until it reached its lowest point at 39 times per years in 2000.
As for pizza and hamburger, the rhyme was completely the opposite; it started at the lowest point five and six times respectively. But then, the rate rose significantly in 1988 to 1995. In the next years, the vast majority of Australian teens ate the hamburger, while the pizza was the second common. Between 1995 and 2000, the numbers of both pizza and hamburger were surprisingly unchanged.
To sum up, the figure has shown a significant different in Australian teens fast food consumption.
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The line graph illustrates the consumption of three kinds of junk food (Pizza, Fish and Chips, and Hamburgers) by teenagers in Australia over a period of 25 years. Overall, as can be seen from the graph that all kinds of junk food increase throughout the period with an exception of fish and chips. Among the other kinds of the food, Hamburgers are the most consumed food by Australian teenagers.
There was a gradual increase between 1975 and 1995 from around 5 times eaten per year to just over 80 times eaten and then it remained steadily until 2000. In addition, Hamburger experienced a significant increase from roughly 10 times eaten per year to just over 80 times over ten years and then it went up steadily to 100 times and stabilized until 2000.
Although the number of Fish and Chips fluctuated throughout the period, it finally decreased until 2000. In 1975, it stood at 100 times and then went down to around 80 times before rising to just under 90 times. However, Australian teenagers consume less on this kind of junk food between 1985 and 2000, and it reached its a lowest point at about 40 times eaten per year.
Example 3: The amount of people travelling by bus was half as much in 2005 when compared to 2010.
Shouldnt it be the number of people? I think amount goes for uncountable nouns, whereas number is appropiate for countable words.
Good catch! I’ve updated it accordingly.