Top Tips for IELTS


Today’s word of the day exercise is



This is a word that can be used to talk about numbers and is roughly the same as total in meaning. This makes it particularly useful for academic task 1 when you need to deal with figures because very often you need to calculate the total amounts.

You should though be a little careful about using this word in general writing as it is not that common and is used mostly in industry and finance. If in doubt, use total – there is nothing wrong with plain and simple English.

Forms of the word




Using the word

amount/level/value: The aggregate amount that all countries spend on imported foodstuffs — will surpass 1 trillion dollars again this year, for the fifth year in a row.

demand/supply/production: There has been a big drop in aggregate demand for mobile phones.

in aggregate: Profits remain slender in most cases, but margins are improving in aggregate. [Margin is almost exactly the same in meaning as profit – indeed sometimes you talk about a profit margin]

on aggregate: Crystal Palace lost the semi-final 4-3 on aggregate.





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2 Responses to Aggregate

  1. Md Sohan October 21, 2014 at 6:32 am #

    Dear Mr Cole,

    Thanks for your lesson about aggregate. I am waiting for your next lesson.


  2. Sam October 22, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Dear Dominic
    Can we certainly use aggregate in writing task ? My personal teacher said that it is not suggested to use this word in task 1. Could you advice me what to do

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