TASK ONE GRAMMAR: COUNTABLE OR UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS WITH QUANTIFIERS
For IELTS Task One writing you will need to use quantifiers to describe data. The most common are:
how many / the number of - how much/ the amount of
In writing Task One essays most test-takers use these more than once, so it is important to understand which are used with countable and uncountable nouns.
Countable nouns use how many or the number of:
The line graph shows how many customers buy gifts on their first visit to the museum. The diagram shows the number of cars that were sold each month in 2012. The diagrams illustrate information about the number of unoccupied homes in the UK from 1999 to 2007. The table shows how many homes are expected to be built around Paris each year until 2045. The line graph provides information about the number of students who dropped out of college for medical reasons from 2016 to 2018. The bar chart details how many websites were blocked by security forces during a ten year period between 2008 and 2018.
Uncountable nouns use how much or the amount of:
The line graph shows the amount of food that is eaten by an average Chinese household in one week. The line graph shows how much water was consumed by the average home in Kent in 2019. The diagrams illustrate information about the amount of homework the average teenager completes each night in three African countries. The pie chart lays out how much equipment is used for three types of surgery. The line graph provides information about the amount of travel undertaken by gap year students from three European countries. The bar chart details how much data is processed every minute by four super computers.
Many other quantifiers can be used as well. Care must be taken to make the verbs agree.
The diagram illustrates the percentage of people over 60… The pie chart illustrates the proportion of immigrants… The diagram details the size/area of land destroyed… The line graph illustrates the quantity of shoes… The diagram shows the level of import tax… The diagram provides the rate of employment… The diagram gives information about the frequency of visits...
It is worth noting that how much/many and the amount/number of are not always interchangeable. Most notably, how much/many usually only start a sentence when the sentence is a question:
How many students graduate each year?
This means that while both forms can be used mid-sentence as shown above, when starting a sentence that is not a question it is better to use the number/level/rate/amount of etc.
How many students graduate each year has risen sharply. ✘ The percentage of students who graduate each year has risen sharply. ✔︎
Rewrite the following sentences to include a countable or uncountable quantifier.
The bar graph demonstrates bananas that were sold in the UK in 1998. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ The data suggests that waste water produced in the UK in 2030 will be more than in 2029. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Premature deaths among diabetes sufferers have dropped from 800 to 500 per week. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ In the second half of the period, elephants living wild went down by almost 35%. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Laptops sold from January to March rose twice as fast as desktop computers in the same period. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
|1||The bar graph demonstrates the number of bananas that were sold in the UK in 1998.|
|2||The data suggests that the amount of waste water produced in the UK in 2030 will be more than in 2029.|
|3||The number of premature deaths among diabetes sufferers has dropped from 800 to 500 per week.|
|4||In the second half of the period, the number of elephants living wild went down by almost 35%.|
|5||The number of laptops sold from January to March rose twice as fast as the number of desktop computers in the same period.|