With any type of task in Task 1, it is important to diversify vocabulary. We should not use the same sentence pattern too many times. For pie charts, use words to describe percentages and ratios.
The most common clusters are “the proportions of…” or “the percentage of…“. However, you can use vocabulary to describe fractions, see the following examples:
A large number of people
over a quarter of people
a small minority
A significant number of people
less than a fifth
This table presents some examples of how you can change percentages to fractions orratios:
70% seven in ten
55% more than half
45% more than two fifths
35% more than a third
30% less than a third
25% a quarter
20% a fifth
15% less than a fifth
10% one in ten
5% one in twenty
If the percentage does not have an exact number like the examples above, you can use the following ways to describe it and still ensure accuracy with the original chart:
77% just over three quarters
7% approximately three quarters
49% just under a half
49% nearly a half
32% almost a third
Percentage proportion / number / amount / majority /minority
75%-85% a very large majority
65%-75% a significant proportion
10%-15% a minority
5% a very small number
Here are three useful methods you can use when describing percentages:
1. English speakers usually put the percentage at the start of the sentence.
2. Use while, whereas or compared to (after a comma) to add a comparison.
3. Use “the figure for” to add another comparison in the next sentence.
You can apply the following writing examples in your report:
– Printed 1999, 35% of British people went abroad for their holidays, while only 28% of Australians spent their holidays in a different country. The figure for the USA stood at31%.
– Around 40% of women in the UK had an undergraduate qualification in 1999, compared to 37% of men. The figures for the year 2000 rose slightly to 42% and 38%respectively.