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Contrast – IELTS word of the day

Contrast is today’s word from the Academic Word list


The forms of this word are contrast, contrasting, contrasted and, the somewhat unusual, contrastive. 

This is a central word for any academic writing and it is particularly useful to learn some of the many collocations it has to avoid repetition of the standard in contrast. It is also important to note how contrast can be both a verb and noun.


draw a contrast = make a contrast

something can stand in contrast to something else = provide a contrast

Adjectives and adverbs

Here the idea is to show the nature and extent of the contrast – not all contrasts are equal. Here I have given only the adjectives, but all the adverbs are possible too.

a direct contrast (two equal things/ideas)

an interesting contrast

a striking/marked/sharp contrast (one that is easily seen)

a stark contrast (something that is black and white)


This is a very complex area with many possibilities. These examples are only intended to give you a quick guide:

There is a contrast between the educational systems in Europe and Asia – ( difference between two things)

It is possible here to draw a contrast with/to the educational system in Europe – (a difference to/with something else)

This is in complete contrast to the educational system in Europe (I suggest you learn the phrase “in contrast to”)

Adverbial phrases

These are the two standard variations. Note the use of the comma:

In contrast,

By contrast,

By way of contrast,

Test your knowledge


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One Response to Contrast – IELTS word of the day

  1. sabah March 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    many Thanks,

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