Comparison and contrast in IELTS Task 2 writing

To present your ideas and opinions clearly, it is important to know how to accurately use comparison and contrast in Task 2 of the IELTS writing test. Here are some the words that you can use:
Comparison and contrast in Task 2

  • while
  • as opposed to
  • however
  • likewise
  • equally
  • in contrast to
  • in the same way
  • in a similar way
  • as well as
  • like the…
  • as …as …
  • similarly
  • whereas
  • by contrast
  • although
  • instead

Practice your understanding of these words by deciding whether the statements that follow are TRUE or FALSE according to the text below.

Read the passage below. Are the statements that follow true or false? They are not in order.

Although they are both highly respected institutions, there are many factors to be considered when comparing the Louvre and the Guggenheim.

The most important factor is the quality of their displays. The Guggenheim is excellently organized and offers fine examples of most forms of art, including traditional, modern and impressionist. The Louvre, on the other hand, lacks this variety of art forms, concentrating more on the traditional.

As regards location, both museums are well situated with convenient access for the public, although they are both a little expensive to visit. The Louvre, however, is a piece of architectural history in itself, whereas the Guggenheim is far more of a modern building with no real sense of history.

Both The Louvre and The Guggenheim have something to offer the art lover.
    Show answer TRUE

Just as the Guggenheim museum displays impressionist works, so too does the Louvre.
    Show answer FALSE

Neither The Louvre nor the Guggenheim is cheap to visit.
    Show answer TRUE

Compared to the Louvre, The Guggenheim concentrates more on traditional art forms.
    Show answer FALSE

The Louvre and the Guggenheim are similar in that they are both well situated.
    Show answer TRUE

The Louvre is similar to The Guggenheim in that it has good public access.
    Show answer TRUE

The Guggenheim and the Louvre are equally respected.
    Show answer TRUE

The Guggenheim is an historic building, whereas the Louvre is relatively modern.
    Show answer FALSE

Contrast can also be shown by using specific verbs, adjectives and nouns. Use the table below as a guide (note how the word family changes depending on the word type).

Verbs: Adjectives: Nouns:
Compare to / with Compared to / with In comparison to / with
Contrast with Contrasting In contrast to
Differ from / differentiate between Different from Difference between
Distinguish between Distinct from Distinction between
Resemble Similar to Resemblance to / with
Vary from / between Variable Variation between

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be careful with the use of comparing and compared

Compared to the Guggenheim, the Louvre has a long history.
Comparing the Louvre and the Guggenheim, the former has a longer history.

More examples

Here are some more examples of comparison and contrast that you could to express comparison and contrast:

While both opera and ballet are considered to represent the finer end of the arts, the former involves more vocal musical content.

DVDs are a highly flexible, user-directed form of entertainment, whereas the cinema is considerably more rigid in its presentation.

Radio plays allow the listener to use their imagination, picturing the scenes and characters involved. By contrast, the theatre presents both characters and scenery.

E-mails are a common form of communication both personally and in business, in the same way as letters were some 20 years ago.

Museums, as opposed to theme parks and other such activities, can offer visitors far more of a cultural experience.

Traditional dances from my country, in the same way as the haka here in New Zealand, are something most people enjoy watching but can’t actually perform.

One of the more obvious changes in communication over the last 20 years is that people are using telephone booths less and less, opting instead for mobile phones.

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