Prepositions for graphs

It is very important that you know how to correctly use prepositions in the IELTS writing task 1.

Certain prepostions go with certain words when you use the language of change.

If you put them in the wrong place or use the wrong preposition you may confuse what you are trying to say.    

First, take a look at this graph model answer and notice how some of the prepositions are used. They have been highlighted.

Sample Task 1 Answer

The line graph compares the number of car thefts for every thousand vehicles in four countries from 1990 to 1999. Overall, it can be seen that car thefts were far higher in Great Britain than in the other three counties throughout the whole time frame.

To begin, car thefts in Sweden, France and Canada followed a fairly similar pattern over the first five years, all remaining at between 5 and 10 per thousand. The general trend though for France and Canada was a decline in the number of vehicles stolen over the period, with both at around 6 in 1999. In contrast, Sweden experienced an upward trend, starting the period at approximately 8, and finishing at just under 15.

Interestingly, car thefts in Great Britain started at 18 per thousand, which far exceeded that of the other countries. It then fluctuated over the next nine years, reaching a peak of 20 thefts per 1000 in 1996, and ending the period slightly lower than where it began, atapproximately 17 per thousand.


Now, take a look at the sentences below. Decide which prepostion from the box should go in the gap and write it in.

Write in small letters and do not leave any gaps or your answer may get marked as wrong.

with at in by at
to between from to of

1. In may, the price of gold rose slightly $1,500.

2. Holidays to foreign destinations remained constant about 85,000 per month for the last two months of the year.

3. Profits increased 4 million dollars to 6 million dollars last year.

4. From 2001 to 2010, the price of electricity has increased 125%.

5. Bike sales reached a peak 20,000 in September.

6. There is a sharp increase in traffic levels from 8am to 9am, nearly 3000 cars traveling on the road.

7. The last decade has seen a steep increase the number of people diagnosed with diabetes.

8. At the start of the year, the turnover of the company stood £1.3 million.

9. During the summer, student numbers at the school fluctuate 150 and 170 per week.

10. Following this, the number then fell a low of 20 per month.

Score =
Correct answers:


› Prepositions



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Writing Task 1 (Academic)

Lesson 1:
Describing a Graph Over Time

Lesson 2:
Describing an IELTS Pie Chart

Lesson 3:
Describing an IELTS Process

Lesson 4:
Describing two graphs together

Lesson 5:
Common Language of Change

Lesson 6:
Gap Fill - Bar Chart

Lesson 7:
Gap Fill - Line Graph

Lesson 8:
Common Language to Compare and Contrast

Lesson 9:
A Common Mistake

Lesson 10:
Describing Tables

Lesson 11:
Organizing your answer

Lesson 12:
Gap Fill - Table

Lesson 13:
Using Prepositions

Lesson 14:
Describing the future

Lesson 15:
Gap Fill - Pie Chart

Lesson 16:
Gap Fill - Process Diagram

Writing Task 1 (GT)

Lesson 1:
Opening and Closing a Letter