IELTS Line Graph Vocabulary

Essential vocabulary to describe an IELTS writing task 1 line graph. To get a good band score you must show the examiner a range of different words to show upward and downward trends as well as key features. IELTS line graphs show change over a period of time and you must vary your language and vocabulary when you write your report.

This page contains:

  1. Verbs & Nouns
  2. Practice Exercise
  3. Adverbs & Adjectives
  4. Time Phrases
  5. Useful link to model answers and more tips for line graphs

1. IELTS Line Graph Verbs & Nouns

Below are lists of verbs and nouns that can be used to describe a line graph in IELTS writing task 1.

Upward trend

  • rise / a rise
  • increase / an increase
  • climb / a climb
  • grow / a growth
  • go up

Downward trend

  • decrease / a decrease
  • drop / a drop
  • fall / a fall
  • decline / a decline

Other vocabulary

  • fluctuate / a fluctuation
  • dip / a dip
  • remain steady
  • remain stable
  • remain unchanged
  • level off
  • peak at
  • reach a peak of
  • hit a high of
  • hit a low of
  • bottom out
  • plateau

Mistakes when using words will affect your band score. This includes spelling.

  • Band 6 = some vocabulary errors.
  • Band 7 = few vocabulary errors.

2. Practice with Nouns and Verbs

Fill in the gaps using the vocabulary 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.

  • Source: IELTS Liz
  • Notice: It is uncommon to be given only one line as a task unless it is combined with another chart or table. The above graph is for practising vocabulary.

Questions 1-5

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

The number of reported cases of influenza began at 40 in 1985 after which the figure (1). …………………… steadily to reach about 55 in 1987. In 1988, there was a (2) …………. in the number to below 50 before (3) ……………. to reach a (4) …………  (5) ……….. approximately 75 in 1991. After that date, the figure dropped to about 55 in the final year.


Click below to reveal the answers:

  1. rose / increased / climbed / grew / went up
  2. a fall / a decline / a drop / a dip / a decrease
  3. climbing / increasing / rising / going up / growing
  4. peak
  5. of

3. Line Graph Adverbs & Adjectives

Below are useful adverbs and adjectives to describe change.

Adverbs: steadily, gradually, sharply, rapidly, steeply, slightly, dramatically, significantly, considerably

Adjectives: steady, gradual, sharp, rapid, steep, slight, dramatic, significant, considerable


  1. The number of cases of influenza increased steadily from 40 to 55 in the first  three years.
  2. There was a steady rise in the number of cases of influenza to reach 55 in 1987 from 40 in the first year.

4. Time Expressions

IELTS line graphs show change over  a period of time. Below are some expressions to help you describe the passing of time without too much repetition.

Time phrases:

  • over the next three days
  • three days later
  • in the following three days
  • the next three days show
  • over the period
  • from…to… / between … and…
  • the last year
  • the final year
  • the first year
  • at the beginning of the period
  • at the end of the period

5. Recommended Links for more IELTS Writing Task 1

IELTS Writing Task 1: Tips, Model Answers and More

Full Model Answer and Guidelines for IELTS Line Graph

All other free materials are found on the RED BAR at the top of this site.

All the best


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  1. Hi Liz,
    Can I write “in the penultimate year”? I mean is it only used in graduation years or can I use it in a graph too?

  2. Thank you for all of your lessons they are staggering! Just I can say wonderful! I found it very interesting.

  3. I really want to appreciate your method of teachings. They have been very insightful and easy to understand. Keep up your good job madam! . I have now developed confidence for the exam. May God bless you richly.

  4. I think I’m determined not to leave a work unread in your fascinating website for it seems you have prepared everything appropriately for your guests. I wonder if you could provide actual written answers for writing task 1 and 2 so that we can estimate our writings.

    • You can find everything on the main pages of this website. The model answers for task 1 are in the writing task 1 section of this site. You can find each section accessed either through the RED MENU BAR at the top of the site or on the HOME PAGE 🙂

  5. Atinder Singh Toor says

    This website is a blessing especially in times like these. Thank you so much for providing such amazing information and that too for free. You are such an amazing teacher. God bless you. 🙂

  6. Exactly!

  7. Md Ataur Rahman says

    Dear Liz,
    Thank you so much for your excellent support for my IELTS preparation. From the couple of days, I am following your tips and lectures which are available here.
    I am so much pleased as I have found my confidence to sit for the exam recently.
    Wish you all the best.
    Thank you again.

    • I’m glad you’ve found my site useful 🙂

      • I see lot of foreinger use icon ” 🙂 ” when replied someone’s comment. Idk, if it’s normal to your country when responed like that. But in VietNam, that icon deemed not serious about the reply. Btw, I love your video. It’s free but more qualified than several courses in my country.
        Again thank youuu <3

  8. Hi mam..!
    I’m new here and my elder brother given your link.Because Once he followed..!
    And now i following you..!
    thanks for everything..!
    and you pray for me so that i can improve myself.. “

  9. Dear madam! You are doing great job.thank you very much for that
    In the answer sheet task 1,,,there is a word rose,i think it should be rise
    Good bless you

    • I don’t understand. There is no answer sheet on the page above. I don’t know which word you are referring to. Can you explain more?

      • Peter Shuai says

        I guess what Prabash said was the word “rose”. he thought it should be “rise”, however in my opinion, he is wrong, “rose” is the correct one.

        • Is he referring to question 1? It is passed tense: rose / increased etc. You can’t use a present tense when past tense is required. You are correct, Peter 🙂

    • Erfana Hanifa says

      In writing task 1,you should maintain the use of one tense throughout.For example,if your explanation is in ‘past tense’ you should only use past tense throughout.

      Thatswhy,Madam Liz used ‘rose’ instead of ‘rise’ in her graph explanation.

  10. Bahare Mohammadkhani says

    Thanks Liz.

  11. Bahare Mohammadkhani says

    Hi Liz,
    I was wondering whether all line graphs have trend or not

    • Yes, they all have trends. They show change over a period of time and that is the trend you are reporting as well as any other significant key feature.

  12. That is great

  13. Rajesh Bhosale says

    This helps a lot.

  14. Shi-Ming Chen says

    Thanks. It is helpful for me.

  15. Syed Mohsin says

    Thank u Mam God bless u

  16. Thank you Liz, I have my IELTS on the 30th of August and your website is very helpful and useful.


  17. Interesting website, lots of helpful materials in an organized manner, and the videos are very clear and informative.

    Thanks a lot!

  18. Thank you Liz.your help and useful advises .

  19. KVN Raju says

    Hi Liz,
    Your teaching lesson skills and tips are outstanding that’s helping me for IELTS preparation well.

    Thank you and appreciate for your kind support.


    • manoj parmar says

      dear liz

      tremandous job you are doing, carving us towards acheiving higher band scores mile stone.
      i appreciate for your great work

  20. Hi dear Master. Well done. I really appreciate it. Many thxs

  21. Jass grewal says

    Nice and greate work …
    From ludhiana-machhiwara 😊

  22. Dilpreet kaur says

    Dear ,you are doing a good job….👍👍

  23. Karona Sutradhar says

    It is very helpful to me.

  24. Thank u mam you helped me a lot.

  25. Hii Liz I’ve just started IELTS . Thank you for all information given! I think there is a wrong word in the other vocabulary that is a drip. It should be a dip. Have a nice day 🙂

  26. Nurse Mujaheed says

    Thank you very much ma,Nigerian nurses are also proud of you.

  27. Hi liz if by chance you read this please do write a comment, I am still not confident in doing task 1. Anyway, I see this as a great help to me , thank you.

    Here is my sample report for the line graph above , please correct me especially on my grammar since I am mostly doing a self review and I am thankful I found this because you freely give suggestions.

    The line graph gives information about the number of people above 65 with reported cases of influenza in some village of UK starting 1985 up to 1995. The data is measured according to the number of people affected by the flu in the given time frame.

    Overall, there is a fluctuation in the statistics throughout the period. Observably, its lowest cases is in the beginning while the highest occurs in the middle years (1991 to 1992) of the decade.

    For over 3 years , starting from 1985 until 1987 there is a gradual increase of influenza cases, specifically from 40 going up to 50 respectively. In the following years on the other hand, it starts to fluctuate , it moves downward from the stated latter period above , afterwards the number of people with reported cases continuously rise reaching its peak data of more than 70 in 1991.

    Meanwhile , in the next 4 years including the end of the period the number of people with influenza steadily decrease . Consequently, from above 70 it then decline to exactly 60 (1991 to 1995).

    • Ahmed Abdullah says

      This is well written! But do check the last line where, I think you have got a grammatical mistake. Instead of using ‘declined’, you used the word ‘decline’.

  28. Really appreciate your help ,May God bless you with good health and blessings.Thanks for being so generous.

  29. thanks for your lesson, my teacher. it is very useful

  30. Baljit Singh says

    Excellent tech mam

    Thanks mam 😊 😊 😊 😊

  31. Md Sohan Uddin says

    I wish I could talk with Liz.🙄

  32. Rubie expressed what i am feeling just right now. Dear Liz, you are so generous and I would like you to understand how much do I appreciate your free help.
    Right words – God bless you:)

    hugs and kisses,

  33. Rubie Fabia says

    You are very generous to share these ideas, tips, examples and teach those struggling examiners for their IELTS test. I am one of those people who’s very thankful when I found your website. It was very helpful for me.
    Godbless your good heart Ms. Liz!

    love lots,

  34. Nencilia Botha says

    Thanks liz that was very informative

  35. as regard of my experience ietlsliz website has such a good materials for preparing ielts exam .

  36. Hi Liz.
    I’ve started studying for IELTS for two months. My teacher taught me the way to practice for writing that I want to ask your opinion about that. She told us that, for beginners of course, we should spend for example one or two days on one sample of writing, study about topic and learn new words or collocations then try to write a good essay. What do you think? Is it a good way?

  37. Said Belmeddah says

    Thank you a lot teacher for such fruitful initiative.

  38. Thank you so much for your helpful material and tips.

  39. Inderjit Singh says

    Very good speak 👍

  40. Thank you miss, this is really help me to study about english and ielts.. good job miss, hope you keep health


    Thank you so much

  42. Good job.

  43. D. B. Baniya says

    Thank you so much for such a useful materials. No words to appreciate your hardworking.

  44. Thanks so much ma’am, your lesson has always being wonderful.

  45. This is good

  46. Marykutty Mathew says

    Thank you so much, I think it would help me to get good score next time. Thank you Mam.

  47. Marykutty Mathew says

    Thank you so much, I think it would help me to get good score next time, thank you Mam

  48. Shupikai muchada says

    Thanks Liz that was very informative

  49. thankyou teacher , that was really helpful , so if just used these phrases in my exam i will det a high score or at least 5.5 ?

  50. ThankQ so much for your wonderful work you have given us.

  51. Wow awesome tips. Many thanks for your boundless generosity and kindness.

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