IELTS- Comparing and Contrasting Practice


IELTS questions for practising the language of similarities and differences

By: Alex Case
Level: All Levels
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: Functions & Text
      Page: /

Lesson Plan Content:

IELTS comparing and contrasting practice

With your partner, find similarities and differences between the pieces of writing you did for homework and then compare with the class.

Compare your weekends and weeks (so far) and find out who had one which is described by one of the adjectives below. Choose any adjective, decide who it refers to by describing your week and asking questions, then move on to another one.

  • sadder/ the saddest
  • stranger/ the strangest
  • tougher/ the toughest
  • harder/ the hardest
  • nicer/ the nicest
  • more fun/ the most fun
  • quieter/ the quietest
  • more routine/ the most routine
  • more varied/ the most varied
  • more boring/ the most boring
  • more tiring/ the most tiring
  • more stressful/ the most stressful
  • more relaxing/ the most relaxing
  • more expensive/ the most expensive
  • more romantic/ the most romantic
  • more interesting/ the most interesting
  • more exciting/ the most exciting
  • more unusual/ the most unusual
  • more dangerous/ the most dangerous
  • more productive/ the most productive
  • busier/ the busiest
  • healthier/ the healthiest
  • easier/ easiest
  • better/ the best
  • worse/ the worst
  • spent further away from home/ the furthest away from home

-------------cover or fold----------

Without looking above, make the comparative and superlative of these adjectives from your memory or grammar knowledge.

sad                                    strange               tough                                fun

quiet                                 routine                exciting              productive

busy                                  healthy               easy

good                                 bad                                   far


Look above and check your answers. What are the rules?

Draw lines between sections of different kinds of adjectives in the top list.       

What other expressions do you know for comparing and contrasting?

Change partners and find similarities and differences between your weekends and weeks (so far) that you can explain to the class with the phrases below, only using each phrase once. Start with the more difficult phrases if you can.

Possible topics

Food and drink               Reading                           Television/ DVDs            Housework

Computer/ Technology  Work/ Studies   Money                Travel

Use of time                                    Sports/ Exercise             Socialising                     


Useful language


(exactly/ almost exactly/ more or less) the same (as…)/ identical (to…)

(very/ quite) similar (to…)

(much much/ much/ a lot/ a great deal/ considerably/ quite a lot/ slightly/ a bit/ a little/ a tiny bit) more …than…/ less… than…/…er

(not) (nearly) as… as…

one and half times/ twice/ three times/ four times/…percent as (much/ many)….as…

(only) a quarter/ half/ two thirds as (much/ many)…as…

… percent more…/…er/less… than…

Compared to…,…



…, whereas…

In contrast,…

(totally/ quite a lot/ a bit/ slightly) different

Choose one of the phrases above that you don’t think any of the other groups have used but you have. If they can’t come up with any sentences, give your own.  

Use similar language to answer questions from here:

  • How is where you live/ your hometown different from how it was 20 years ago?
  • How does where you live compare to the area around here?
  • Do you prefer to cook or eat out? (Why do you feel that way?)
  • Have you been to many countries? (Which one did you like best? Why?)
  • How do you think people’s diet will be different in 20 years’ time?
  • How is the food in your country different to other places you have been or know about?
  • How do you picture your life in 2025? (How will it be different from your life now?)
  • What is/ was your favourite subject? (Why do/ did you like it better than the others?)
  • Where did you last go on holiday? (How does it compare to other places?)
  • Do you feel your English is improving? (In which ways?)
  • In your opinion, is people’s health in your country getting better or worse? (What evidence do you have for that point of view?)
  • Do you have any ambitions? (How do you think achieving that would change life?)

Make similar questions for each other, perhaps using the underlined parts above.

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