This lesson looks at some more advanced comparison vocabulary for academic task 1 writing to talk about the degree or size of the comparison. The idea is generally not enough to say that something is “bigger than” something else, you need to say by how much and that there are times you want to use words and not just numbers.
Why do you need this language? Why not just use numbers?
An extremely interesting comment on this site came from someone who asked whether it was wrong to say something was “far more” than something else on the grounds that this was a subjective opinion and the task is to describe the data objectively. My answer to this is:
this is a language task and you should try to use language and not just numbers in your answer
this is a summary task and that means that you do not include all the numbers, but describe some of them in language
mostly, you should try and combine words and numbers together in order to give the examiner/reader as much information as possible
in your summary statement, however, (normally either your introduction/conclusion) you may simply use words without numbers because it is a general description of the chart/graph/table
Amounts and numbers
Considerably and significantly have similar meanings. I would say that considerably is the stronger word, but someone else might tell you different!
A useful alternative to marginally is fractionally.
Be careful with countable and uncountable words. You use amount and less with uncountable words such gas and number, and fewer with countable words such as people.
I would avoid using a lot more as this is rather non-academic language. Alternatives would include far more and a great deal more.
You should be careful with the prepositions here. You talk about a difference between two things, but say one thing is different from (or sometimes to) something else.
While you cannot use
almost similar, you can say almost the same as
Other useful adjectives
The preposition used with both these words is to. So one thing can be identical or comparable to something else.