Use of tenses in the IELTS Academic Task 1

by Vigorosk

When do we use the future tense for graphs?



If a line graph shows some data in future (e.g. till 2025), must we use future simple tense for the period of years 2015 - 2025?

Thanks in advance.

Comments for Use of tenses in the IELTS Academic Task 1

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 08, 2015
IELTS Graphs in the Future
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Vigorosk,

Yes, you should use the future simple tense for anything past the current year.

Take a look at this lesson to see how to describe a graph in the future

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Academic Writing Task 1 Forum.



Usage of the Past Perfect Continuous Tense

by serge
(turkey)

Please help me about usage of past perfect continuous tense with the upward/downward trends.

İs it ok to use it like below?

1) temperatures had been decreasing 4 celsius approximately since hottest day of the week

2) temperatures was decreasing 4 celsius approximately as of the hottest day of the week

3) The total amount of bike usage had been decreasing between 1960 and 2000.

4) or should ı use "was on decrease" with 3

plz help

Comments for Usage of the Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 05, 2015
Past perfect in IELTS Task 1
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Serge,

I think you are over-complicating things.

You need to use the past simple for completed actions in the past, which is clearly the case for (3).

As for (1) and (2), it is possible you could use PRESENT perfect continuous, but only if you are referring to a point in the past up until the present. So for example if temperatures have been decreasing from 1995-2015 (this year).

But this does not seem to make sense as you are talking about days of the week. I would really need to see the graphs you are referring to.

So depending on this, these seem like the possibilities:

1) temperatures have been decreasing 4 celsius approximately since hottest day of the week

OR

2) temperatures decreased 4 celsius approximately as of the hottest day of the week

3) The total amount of bike usage decreased between 1960 and 2000.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Academic Writing Task 1 Forum.

Tense

by Chaminda
(Sri Lanka)

What tense Should I use in writing task 1?

Because it was observed almost always past tenses have been used in the model answers.

Comments for Tense

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 25, 2016
Past Simple
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Chaminda,

Yes you will find that it nearly always is in the past, so you will be using the past simple but you should always check the years carefully to make sure.

For example, you sometimes get graphs that also include the past and future, in which it is not just the past simple.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Academic Writing Task 1 Forum.

Using the Present Perfect

by Hai Anh
(Viet Nam)

When surfing, I find this page which has useful language for IELTS writing task 1:


http://www.ielts-mentor.com/48-ielts-vocabulary/vocabulary-for-academic-ielts-writing-task-1/528-vocabulary-for-academic-ielts-writing-task-1-part-1

Everything seems correct but these examples make me so confused:

"In general, the employment opportunity has increased till 1970 and has dropped down afterwards."

"The overall sale of the company has increased by 20% at the end of the year."

Why does he use present perfect?

Please help!
Thanks!

Comments for Using the Present Perfect

Click here to add your own comments

May 28, 2017
Present Perfect Tense in IELTS Writing Task 1
by: IELTS

Hi Hai,

Actually strictly speaking that is incorrect. Those are completed actions in the past so they should be past simple.

There is a possible argument for using the present perfect. It can be used for something that has relevance to the present moment. For example we say "I've closed the door" if you just closed it and are telling someone who is with you.

So if you were describing that graph to someone there with you, you could do it in that way.

But really I think most people, and examiners, would expect to see the past simple so to not risk any penalties for someone who views it as wrong I would stay safe and stick with past simple for changes clearly shown to be in the past.

You can use past perfect with the word 'by'. So "By 1970 the employment rate had increased by 50%". But that's just one exception.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Academic Writing Task 1 Forum.

Appropriate Tense in Writing Task 1 & 2?

What is the suitable (tense) that can be used in writing both task 1 & 2?

Meaning to avoid as much as possible grammar mistakes?

Comments for Appropriate Tense in Writing Task 1 & 2?

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 06, 2017
Tenses in Task 1 and 2
by: IELTS buddy

For Task 1, if it is a graph in the past you will mainly be using the past simple. But you could also get a graph in the future, which would of course mean using future tenses.

And there are other Task 1s. A process will mainly be present simple, as would a map or diagram.

For Task 2 you are mainly talking about present day issues, so the present simple is common. But you would need others tenses depending on what points you wanted to get across.

So it's really difficult to suggest that using a certain tense will avoid grammar errors. Each task is different and you have to determine what tenses will be used.

And tenses are only a part of it. There are many other grammar errors you could make even if you have the tenses correct.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Academic Writing Task 1 Forum.