Hi. Welcome back to I'm Adam, and today's lesson is for those of you who

will be taking the IELTS test. Now, as usual, when I do an IELTS class, I will speak a little

bit faster, a little bit closer to natural speed for those of you who need the extra

listening practice. But this is for everybody; there's always something to learn,

it's all English.

So today we're going to specifically look at IELTS Task 1, and I'm going to give you

a few vocabulary that are essential to success in IELTS Task 1. You won't necessarily use

all of them every time, but you need to know these nine words that I'm going to show you-or

10 words, depends how you look at it-you need to know these words so you're ready for pretty

much any kind of infographic that comes your way.

Now, most of the time and most of your practice, I'm sure, is graphs. Okay? So we're going

to start with looking at graphs, and we're going to look at these two words: "fluctuate",

a verb, okay? And: "fluctuation", a noun. Now, from my experience, checking students'

or test takers' essays, this word is quite often misused. Okay? I think sometimes people

are not exactly sure what this word means. So, to show you, I'm going to show you a graph, here.

This is a fluctuation. Let's say we're looking at a span of 2000 to 2014, so we're

looking 15 years of sales, let's say. Sales and whatever the number is in hundred of millions.

Okay? "Fluctuate" means to go up and down quite rapidly. Okay? It doesn't have to be

rapid; it could be steady,

but there's an up, there's a down, there's an up, there's a down.

If you're going something like this, this you don't call a fluctuation. Even though

it's not a straight line, it's still not a fluctuation, because overall, the sales are

still going upwards, they're still increasing. Fluctuation, there must be some downward movement

as well. It goes up and there's down fromLet's say from the starting point. So here

we go up, down, up, down, up, down. Here, it's mostly up. You very rarely go down below

where you started. So overall, you have an upward motion. This is to fluctuate. So, you

can use it as a verb: Over the span of the recording, of the record, of the 15 years,

sales fluctuated from let's say 100 million to as littleAnd ended up here, let's say,

it's a little bit lower to 110. So, overall, there was a slight increase, but sales fluctuated

throughout the period. Okay?

You can use "fluctuation". If you want to talk about the graph as a whole, you can say:

"The graph shows fluctuations in the sales numbers." Okay? The graph shows fluctuations.

Sales fluctuated. So you can talk about theWhatever is on the x-axis itself, or you can

talk about the graph as a whole. Use "fluctuate" for whatever item is here; use "fluctuation"

for the graph as a whole.

Next: "plateau". Now, I know most of you probably know this word. If you're doing IELTS, you've

heard this word before and you've used it before, but a lot of you don't seem to understand

that "plateau" can be both a noun and a verb. Just like: "peak", the highest point can be

both a noun and a verb. Okay? So, just to make sure we understand: something is going

up, it stops for a while, it goes steady, it goes up again, it goes steady. This area

is a plateau. This area is a plateau. So, I'm going to use the same information, sales

and time. So, sales increased for the first five years, then they plateaued for the next

seven years, after which, they started to rise again until they reached their next plateau.

So, you see, I've used "plateau" as a verb: "They increase until they plateaued. Then

they continued to increase until they reached their next plateau." Verb, noun. Both of them

are okay. Try to use both of them, and make sure that you're referring to something. Now,

if you have something like this, this could be a plateau. But if you're going like this,

this is not a plateau. A plateau, usually, is not very short. It has to be somewhat extended.

If it's too short, then it's just a little pause, it's just a little steady pause. If

it's extended, then you have a plateau. And then, let's say it increased againActually,

I'll use a different colour now so we're not confused. And then started declining. So,

sales increased, increased, it plateaued for a while, then they increased again, then they

plateaued again, and then they increased again until they reached their peak. Let's say this

is 250. Okay? So, sales continuously increased until they reached their peak of 250,000."

Now, again, "peak" can be a noun or a verb. Sales increased until they peaked at 250.

After which, there was a sharp decline over the next three years. Okay? So sharp decline

over the next three years.

Now, if you have the opposite way, you have sales going downExcuse me. Sales are going

down, down, down. Now, technically, you could say they "bottom out". "Bottom out" means

they reach their lowest level. But a safer way, because a lot of people also misuse this

expression, the safest way: "Until they reached their lowest point." Simple is best. But "peak"

you pretty much have to use, because you can't say: "There's going to be a lot of highest

points, highest point, highest point." You have to have sentence and vocabulary variety

in your writing, so use "peak" as a noun, use "peak" as a verb, use "plateau" as a noun,

use "plateau" as a verb.

Okay, let's continue. You've already heard me use this word: "overall". Again, "overall"

does not mean in conclusion. A lot of people use this word to introduce a conclusion. "Overall"

basically means you're looking at the whole graph, so you're looking at the entire span

of something. Here, we're looking at 2000 to 2014. This is your span. Okay? This is

the duration of the information, how long this information is being recorded on the

graph. Okay? So, you could say that: "Although sales started very low and they fluctuated,

and they reached a peak and then dropped again, overall, there is an increase." What does

that mean? It means: from this point to this point, there is an increase. So don't say:

"It went up, it went down, it went up. It went up for this year, then down for this

year." Just say: "There were fluctuations, but overall, sales went up over the span of

the reportOf the reported information." Okay?

Now, of course, we're speaking about "span". You must use this word. A lot of people do

not use this word enough when they're talking about time, a graph with time. Okay? So, again:

"span" is the duration from the beginning to the end. And again, "span" is both a noun

and a verb. The graph shows an overall increase over the span of a decade. This word is crucial.

Whenever you're talking about movement over time, you always talk about "over": over the

span of. Okay? Now, you don't say: "In the span of a decade". If you say: "In the span

of a decade", it means between 10 years, something happened. "Over the span of the decade" means

you're talking about beginning to end. So it's very important to use this preposition

with "span", with motion. As a verb: "The info, the information spans 15 years." It

means it goes from let's say 2000 to 2014. It covers 15 years of recorded information.

"Span" is a verb, "span" is a noun. Try to use both. Now, again, remember you don't want

to use the same word more than twice in an essay, unless you're using it once as a noun,

another time as a verb, you demonstrate command of this word, which will get you a little

bit extra points if you use them correctly. Okay, let's look at some other words.

Okay, so now we have a few more words we're going to look at. Now, the reason I chose

these is because these are very, very commonly misused. Okay? People send me their samples,

they want me to check them. I fix these words all the time. People always make mistakes

with these words. Ages. If you're going to talk about age groups within your charts,

or tables, or graphs, or whatever, then you're going to use these words. Now, let's say there

are groups, there are four age groups: 18-25, 26-35, etc. If you want to talk about this

groupNow, there's two ways you can do it. You can mention the young group, the middle

group, the old group, or if you want to talk about specific ages, you can say: "Those aged…"

It basically means "who are aged 18-25". So this is a participle, now, a reduced adjective

clause. Okay? "Those aged 18-25 were asked to do this. Those 18-25 years of age were

asked to do this." Okay? This is the exact same meaning. "Those aged 18-25", "those who

are". Although, technically, "who were" because I used "were" here, but you get the idea.

"Those who were 18-25 years of age were asked…" "Years of age". Or: "Those 18-25 years old".

Do not mix the two. If you use the word "aged", do not use the word "old". If you use the

word "old", do not use the word "aged". They don't go together; it's one or the other.

Then you have this one: "18-25-year-olds". Now you're making this whole thing into one

noun. Notice here is the "s", no "s" here. Notice you have the hyphen and the hyphen.

This extra hyphen is because of the range. If you have only 25-year-olds, that's fine,

you still have this hyphen, you still have this hyphen, no "s", "s", and the whole thing

is now a noun. So three ways to talk about ages, but do not mix them up. And this is

a very common mistake people make on IELTS 1, and this is something that the graders

are looking for, because this is somewhat basic knowledge, basic grasp of the language.

Now: "percent" and "percentage". People always mix these two words up. What do you need to

know about "percent"? "Percent" is an adverb. "Percentage" is a noun. They are used differently.

When we talk about percent, we always use itSorry, this (%) is "percent" by the

way. You can use the symbol, or you can use the word, but don't use both. Always use a

number with this word. If you have the word "percent" in your writing, there must be a

number before it, otherwise, you're not using it correctly. "10% of the men surveyed said

that…" Percentage, on the other hand, means a small chunk of the whole. Right? You have

5%, you have a very small percentage of the whole. You have 95%, you have a very large

percentage of the whole. So, let's say 10% is small. "A small percentage of the men surveyed

said that…" One thing you have to remember: you're almost always going to use an adjective

with this word, because if you don't, if you just say: "A percentage", well 5% is a percentage,

50% is a percentage, 95% is a percentage, so just saying "percentage" alone doesn't

really give me much information. You have to say: "A small percentage, a large percentage,"

etc. But remember: always a number, never a number with this one.

Now, "respectively", this is a very good word to use. Again, people often misuse it. One

thing to remember when you use the word "respectively"… First of all, you must have two lists. Okay?

You have two lists with equal numbers of items and equal number of items in each list. That

means you have to have a minimum two things in the list. You could have many items in

the list, but as far as IELTS Task 1 is concerned, I recommend no more than three. Okay? Now,

the thing about "respectively", what this word means that the other of the first list

matches the order of the second list. So let's look at an example. "I have three kids: Tommy,

Jake, and Katy. They are 5, 10, and 7 years old, respectively." Put a comma before the

word "respectively". Now, I don't need the "years old", I just put it there to show you.

You can take it out, you can leave it in; both okay. This is the first thing in the

list, this is the second, this is the third. What "respectively" tells me is that these

numbers match the order. So, Tommy is 5, Jake is 10, Katy is 7, respectively. Right? The

order matches the order. That's what this word is used to do, to show you that.

Lastly, the word "latter" and "former". People sometimes mix these two up. Again, you're

going to have twoYou're going to mention two things, or two people, or two places,

or two anything in one sentence. Now you want to discuss each of these things individually

in the next sentence. Okay? So, "latter" means you're referring to the second thing mentioned

earlier; "former" means the first thing. So if I take Katy out and I haveI have three

kids, Tommy and Jake, the latterWho is the latter? The latter is 10 years old. The

latter is Jake because I mentioned him second. The former, Tommy, is 5. Former - first; latter

- second. Okay?

These are the words that you must fully grasp to use for the IELTS Task 1. At some point

in your practice or official test, you will use half or maybe even all of these words

in your task. Okay? Make sure you know how to use them correctly.

Also, if you need any more information about IELTS, some more writing tips,

check out my site:

Of course, go to, do the quiz on the quiz section of that site.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, and come back again. Bye.