X accounts for Y in IELTS Task 1

The number of students in 2001 was accounted 33,438 students.

This writer has learned, or noticed, that the word ‘account‘ is often used to describe numbers in IELTS Task 1 writing.

Well, that’s a step in the right direction, but he or she now needs to do some more noticing. And to speed up noticing, we need examples! Take a look at (print?) these examples. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What word nearly always follows accounts when accounts is a verb)? (answer)
  2. Answer: ‘Accounts’ is always followed by ‘for’.
  3. What kind of data always follows accounts for when accounts for is describing data? (answer)
  4. Answer: The data that follows ‘accounts for’ is a percentage.

Now that we know more about account (we have noticed more), we can see that the use of account in the opening example is inappropriate because the data being described is the wrong kind of data. We cannot use accounts for to  give an objective description of a number in a graph, table or chart.

We saw in the examples that accounts for is part of the structure:

Something accounts for something.

OR

accounts for Y.

Look at the pie chart below. Refer again to the examples and see if you can make a sentence about Firefox using accounts for. As you write, think also about the time frame and what tense you need to use. If you like what you’ve written, please add it as a comment below this post!

X accounts for Y

6 comments on “X accounts for Y in IELTS Task 1

  • I.E. was at the top of the list of internet browser usage. It accounted for 34,2%, while Opera was on the 5th position which accounted for only 5%.

    Reply
    • mm

      Nice, Vonny! I’m still a little unclear about what the 5% refers to – Opera or 5th position? I also suggest that the first time you mention a percentage, you make a phrase with ‘of blah blah blah’: “I.E. accounted for 34.2% of internet browser usage..” Finally, note that the decimal place is indicated in English-speaking countries using a dot (.), not a comma (,).

      Reply

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