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IELTS Vocabulary: when do we use 'soar' and 'plummet'?

In Thursday's lesson I told you not to use words like soar, rocket, shoot up, creep up, dive and plummet in IELTS writing task 1.

But what's wrong with those words?

The problem with those words is that they are too figurative for writing task 1. Think about the normal use of these verbs (e.g. the bird soared into the air, the climber plummeted to his death). If you use these words to describe figures on a graph, it seems too sensational or exaggerated. This is why I prefer to stick with increase, decrease, rise and fall.

So can we ever use these words to describe figures?

If you're writing for a newspaper, yes you can! You'll often see phrases like this in newspapers: house prices soared, share prices plummeted, the price of petrol crept up. Newspapers and magazines love idiomatic and descriptive language, but this style does not suit academic graph descriptions.

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