IELTS Task 1: The graph/table DESCRIBES?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,097 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 2017 in IELTS Test
A lot of students seem to want to use the word 'describes' in connection with their IELTS Task 1 introduction.  I think this is a mistake.  Here's why:

To describe means 'to say or write what someone or something is like'. For example: I would describe the man as tall, with short, black hair and a mustache.

Did you notice how those words say what the man is like

Now, have a look at the following IELTS Task 1 question and a student's introductory sentence:

The table describes the percentage of water pollution in Taipei, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and New York in 2015. 
The word 'describes' in this context is being used inappropriately. Re-read the definition above. The table does not state what something looks like, it provides data in relation to four categories (domestic sewage, pesticides, erosion and phosphates in detergents).

I encourage my students to simply use the word 'shows' because, in most cases, this is what graphs and tables do.

Looking for words other than 'shows'?  Click here  B)



Sign In or Register to comment.