IELTS Writing Task 2: Phrases for Contrasting and Comparing Questions with Sample Answers

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Phrases for IELTS Contrasting and Comparing: Compare and contrast essays in IELTS writing task 2 require students to analyse the differences and similarities between two distinct subjects. Students must have a strong grasp of commonly used phrases to construct strong arguments and responses while attempting such essays. 

In this blog, we have shared a comprehensive list of common phrases which you can use to come up with coherent and solid responses in contrast/compare essay questions. That being said, read the complete article to learn more about phrases for IELTS contrasting and comparing questions in IELTS Writing Task 2. 

25 Most Common Phrases for Contrasting and Comparing Questions in IELTS Writing Task 2

Given below is a comprehensive list of the 25 most common or frequently used phrases which you can use in your contrasting and comparing essay questions in IELTS writing task 2. Refer to them to create well-structured, coherent and comprehensible essay answers. 

In the same way that…To introduce a situation that you are comparing with one that you have just mentioned because there is a strong similarity between them. It is the same way that eating junk is bad for your health, watching bad films is bad for your mental health. 
In a similar vein,…Being intrinsically the sameMany people enjoy listening to music to relax. In a similar vein, reading can also be a great way to unwind.
In contrast to…Very different from something In contrast to the earlier versions of the film, it is now more refined and suave. 
While…, the opposite is…On the contraryWhile some people prefer living in the countryside, the opposite is true for others who enjoy the bustling city life.
There are both similarities and differences between…Something that has both similarities and differences. There are both similarities and differences between the two novels, as they both deal with themes of love and loss, but are set in different historical contexts.
Higher Than Surpassing in number or quantityThe percentage of deaths due to lung cancer is much higher than that of last year. 
Lower Than Less Than The percentage of COVID cases this year is much lower than that of the previous year. 
Better Than Being better than something or someone. In my opinion, reading books is much better than playing violent video games. 
Worse Than Being worse than something or someone. Betrayal of any form is worse than causing physical pain. 
The most To the greatest extent. He is the most good-looking guy in the college. 
The leastSlightestShe is the least likeable girl in the office
Like SimilarThe day was hot like a furnace. 
LikewiseSimilarly We put up a fence, and other neighbours did likewise
HoweverAlthoughHowever, it is up to us to protect our planet from delving into insanity and chaos. 
On the other handOn contrary She liked him a lot. On the other hand, he didn’t like her at all. 
SimilarlySame The last time was a couple of months ago, and it was similarly deadly.
While During the time thatThis could take a while
AlthoughHoweverAlthough I told her that I loved her, I never meant it. 
WhereasIn contrast or comparison with the fact that.She likes dogs, whereas I prefer cats. 
Same asSimilarDoing something so radical is the same as committing treason against your own country. 
Unlike Dissimilar Unlike you, I never lie. 
As opposed toAs againstAs opposed to popular opinion, I believe that the film was pretty bad  
Different FromDissimilar The film is a lot different from the book. 
DespiteIn spite Despite me telling her not to go, she went to the graveyard anyway. 
As well asIn addition to There is his daughter as well as his sister

Contrasting and Comparing questions in IELTS Speaking Part 1 and IELTS Speaking Part 3 require students to compare and contrast objects, people, activities, and even abstract concepts. Having said that, phrases in such tasks can be extremely useful in formulating logical, comprehensible, and well-articulated spoken responses.

 Take a look at the most popular and regularly used phrases for Contrasting and Comparing questions in IELTS Speaking that will help you come up with solid responses and improve your chances of getting higher scores. 

Similar to…Alike, sameSimilar to the previous situation, I believe there’s a low of possible of success this time as well. 
Much the same…SimilarI felt much the same. 
As (adjective) Make comparisons when the things we are comparing are equal in some way. The day was as hot as being in a furnace. 
Same (noun) as… SimilarI want to be around as many people as possible who feel the same way as I do.
In contrast to…On contrary In contrast to popular opinion, I believe that social media is not detrimental to the growth of today’s youth. 
Compared to…In comparison toCompared to the previous generation, I believe that today’s youth are better equipped with technology. 
Conversely Oppositely Conversely, I believe that what he said was pretty much needed for the team. 
LikewiseIn the same way or manner; similarlyJohn left home at 18, and his brother did likewise. 
Rather SomewhatRather than downplaying your emotions, you should let it out. 
InsteadAs an alternative I couldn’t go, so she went instead. 

Phrases for IELTS Contrasting and Comparing Questions: Sample Questions and Answers

Refer below to go through the IELTS Contrasting and Comparing sample questions in IELTS Writing Task 2. These questions are based on your understanding of phrases. They are designed to assess your overall proficiency in English Writing. Have a look. 

Question 1: Identify and fill in the common Contrasting and Comparing phrases used in the sample answer. 

Essay Topic: Some people think it is a good thing for senior managers to have much higher salaries than the other workers in a company. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

“ The issue of differences in wages for senior managers and other employees is a subject of debate. Some people state that differences in salary are justified _____ others believe that it fosters inequality. I firmly believe that such a wage gap can hamper the overall productivity of the employees.

Senior managers are important figures in any organisation _____ they have many responsibilities on their heads. A company trusts them with decision-making, forming strategies that can pave the way towards a company’s success and profitability. They make sustainable, long-term decisions and so their compensation reflects the weight of these duties.______, the extent to which it continues should be kept in check. When the pay gap widens, it creates resentment amongst the employees working at lower levels, leading to demotivation and reduced morale. A workplace where everyone feels treated equally and each member’s efforts are valued will generate optimal performance. 

_______, huge pay disparity will create inequality within the society. Senior managers will accumulate wealth, while the majority of their subordinates will struggle to make ends meet. This inequality leads to division in society and understates values such as fairness and equality. Furthermore, higher salaries for top-level employees can distort the long-term goals of the company. When senior managers start to focus more on the incentives that they will get for a particular task, there is a risk of them prioritising short-term goals over long-term stability. This can lead to the promotion of unethical practices ______and cost-cutting measures that can compromise an employee’s welfare. If the compensation is equally distributed it will encourage sustainable growth and ethical business practices. “


  1. While
  2. As
  3. However
  4. In contrast
  5. Such as

Question 2: Identify and fill in the common Contrasting and Comparing phrases used in the sample answer. 

Essay Topic: Demand for gas and oil is increasing, so finding new sources in remote and untouched areas is a necessity. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

“With rapid global modernisation, there is a significant increase in the demand for oil and gas. One of the ways to meet the increasing demand is to find it in untouched and remote places. ____  this may seem a good option, I feel that the disadvantages of such a solution outweigh the advantages.

The strategy of extracting oil and gas from remote places can offer a few advantages. These fuels play an important role in empowering people to run vehicles and support the production of goods. ______ result, people gain from a convenient and efficient transportation system and also gain access to a wide range of products. Moreover, using resources this way reduces the possibility of vulnerability stemming from geopolitical tensions. The oil and gas industry can significantly contribute to government revenues through taxes, royalties and other benefits. 

______the environmental problems resulting from this approach are significant and cannot be ignored. The extraction of energy resources, such as oil and gas, leads to a large number of issues including deforestation, habitat destruction, and pollution. Frequent climate changes with an increase in temperature bring the ecosystem under constant threat. ______, this exclusive focus on fossil fuels may not allow the implementation and development of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. There will be hazardous levels of drilling and mining which will further degrade land and cause animal extinction, disturbing flora and fauna at a large scale. 

To sum up, the exploration of new oil and gas sources in remote areas can seem useful in the short term, but the long-term effects of these are too hard to ignore. Therefore, it is important to prioritise the development and implementation of renewable energy resources over the continued reliance on fossil fuels.” 


  1. While
  2. As a 
  3. However
  4. Additionally 

So that was all about the common phrases used for IELTS Contrasting and comparing questions in IELTS writing and speaking tasks. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic. 

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Q1. What are the most common phrases used for IELTS contrasting and comparing questions? 

Ans: Some of the most frequently used phrases for IELTS contrasting and comparing questions are ‘In the same way that, in a similar vein, in contrast to, while the opposite is, lower than, and in contrast to’. 

 Q2. How to get 8.0 in IELTS writing?

Ans: For those undertaking the writing section of the IELTS exam, having a solid grasp of vocabulary and idioms is paramount. Ensure your words reach the examiner with perfect clarity, preventing confusion or disengagement. Remember, clarity and pace are fundamental elements of successful writing in the IELTS writing tasks. Mastering these aspects will not only ensure understanding but also demonstrate your fluency and confidence.

Q3. What is the duration of the IELTS Writing Task? 

Ans: The IELTS  Writing Task requires individuals to complete the task within 60 minutes. 

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