IELTS Writing Task 1: Prepositions

Apr 9, 2020 | IELTS WRITING TASK 1

Drawing on my teaching experience, I observe that a great many students are bemused by the question of when to use what preposition in their Task 1 writing.

There are generally four scenarios in which you have to use different prepositions.

An increase/ decrease To increase/ decrease
An increase/decrease in + [noun phrase]
Example: There was a drastic increase in the student enrollment from 2000 to 2003.
To increase/decrease to [ending value]
Example: The number of subscriptions on YouTube increased to 1 billion/ day in January.
An increase/decrease of + [change in value]
Example: There was an increase of 5 million in the sales of sport cars in the following month.
To increase/ decrease by [difference = ending value – beginning value]
Example: Export of mangoes decreased by 20% between 2010 and 2012.

Of course, these rules also apply when you use other equivalents of increase/ decrease such as rise/ fall, climb/ decline, surge/ plunge, etc.

Hope this clarifies.


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