Aptis Speaking Part Three- Longer Phrases


Level: Intermediate
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: Exam Traps and Tricks
Type: Lesson Plans
Submitted by:
Published: 7th Oct 2019

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Lesson Plan Text

Aptis Speaking Part Three- Longer Phrases
Use as many of the phrases below as you can to describe two pictures (from an Aptis test,
from your company’s website, from FCE Speaking Part Two, etc). The parts which are not 
underlined below can be changed to talk about other parts of the pictures, and the words 
in brackets are optional. Your teacher will tell you if you have a time limit (e.g. 45 seconds)
or not.

Comparing/ contrasting
Saying how similar or different things (often the first sentence)
(Overall) the two… are (exactly/ virtually/ almost/ nearly) the same. 
(Overall) the two pictures are (incredibly/ very/ fairly) similar.
(Overall) the settings are (very/ almost completely/ completely) different.

The backgrounds have (quite) a lot in common.
The people in the two photos have (only/ just) one thing in common.
The activities in the two images have (absolutely/ almost) nothing in common.

Talking about the main similarities/ differences (often the next sentence or two after 
the overview)
The (biggest/ main/ most important/ only) similarity/ difference between the two is…
A (big/ major/ -n important) similarity/ difference between the two pictures is…

Talking about other similarities and differences
Something (else) that … have in common is…
(Yet) a(nother) similarity/ difference is…

… is (much much/ much/ far/ a lot/ quite a lot/ considerably/ substantially/ somewhat/ a 
little/ a bit/ a little bit/ a tiny bit) more …/ less…/ …er than...

The … in the picture over here is (not nearly/ not/ not quite/ nearly/ just) as… as the … in 
the other one. 

The photo on the left… In (complete) contrast, the one on the right…
The left-hand picture…, whereas the right-hand one…
This picture… while that picture…
This picture… but the other picture…

(Un/ Totally un)like the picture that I just mentioned, the other…

Both (of the) pictures…
(Only/ Just) one of the images…

Speculating/ Guessing/ Unsure language
I’m (fairly/ almost/ absolutely) certain that…
looks (as if/ like)
may (well)/ might (well)
could (possibly)

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2019

p. 1

Ask about any phrases above which you weren’t sure how to use.
Without looking above, try to add words to each phrase below to make them longer (and 
so give more information about the level of similarity, differences, etc). Put an arrow where
the words would go and then write them next to the line. Don’t change any of the words 
below, just write what you can add. 

Comparing/ contrasting
Saying how similar or different things (often the first sentence)
(Overall) the two… are the same. 
(Overall) the two pictures are similar.
(Overall) the settings are different.

The backgrounds have a lot in common.
The people in the two photos have one thing in common.
The activities in the two images have nothing in common.

Talking about the main similarities/ differences (often the next sentence or two after 
the overview)
The similarity/ difference between the two is…
A similarity/ difference between the two pictures is…

Talking about other similarities and differences
Something that … have in common is…
A similarity/ difference is…

… is more …/ less…/ …er than...

The … in the picture over here is as… as the … in the other one. 

The photo on the left… In contrast, the one on the right…

Like the picture that I just mentioned, the other…

Both pictures…
One of the images…

Speculating/ Guessing/ Unsure language
I’m certain that…
may/ might 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2019

p. 2

Use the mixed words below to help with the task above. Many words can be used more 
than once. 
 a bit
 a little
 a little bit
 a lot
 a tiny bit
 absolutely
 almost
 almost completely
 as if
 big
 biggest
 complete
 completely
 considerably
 else
 exactly
 fairly
 far
 incredibly
 just 
 like
 main
 major
 most important
 much
 much much
 -n important
 nearly 
 not
 not nearly
 not quite
 of the
 only
 possibly
 quite
 quite a lot
 somewhat
 substantially
 totally un-
 un-
 very
 virtually
 well
 yet …nother

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2019

p. 3

Use the even less mixed words below to check and finish the task above.
 almost
 as if/ like
 big/ major/ -n important
 biggest/ main/ most important/ only
 complete
 else
 exactly/ almost/ nearly 
 fairly/ almost/ absolutely
 incredibly/ very/ fairly
 much much/ much/ far/ a lot/ quite a lot/ considerably/ substantially/ somewhat/ a little/ 

a bit/ a little bit/ a tiny bit

 not nearly/ not/ not quite/ nearly/ just 
 of the
 only/ just
 Only/ Just
 possibly
 quite
 Un/ Totally un
 very/ almost completely/ completely
 well
 Yet …nother

Check your answers above.

Without looking above, brainstorm ways to refer to the two pictures that you are referring 
to (preferably/ mainly without the need to point at them).

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2019

p. 4

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