How to Compare and Contrast Pictures

Jane LawsonHello, I'm Jane at DailyStep English!

Try this free Audio Lesson with Interactive Exercise to improve your skills in comparing and contrasting pictures. This topic is important for speaking and writing exams, and also for general English conversation skills. 

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Question: Study the two photographs. In 1.5 minutes be ready to compare and contrast the two photographs:

  • give a brief description of the two photos (action, location)
  • say what the pictures have in common
  • say what in what way the pictures are different
  • say which of the activities presented in the pictures you'd prefer
  • explain why

DailyStep English
Compare and Contrast: Free Trial Lesson
Try 5 more Compare and Contrast Audio lessons here

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Compare and Contrast photos - 1  Compare and Contrast photos - 2


The first photo shows a group of people hiking in mountainous countryside. They have large backpacks on so I think they must be planning to walk a long way. It's a very clear bright day, and judging by the scenery in the foreground and the mountains in the far distance, I would say they are probably on a walking holiday. In the second picture, there are three people sitting on - I'm not sure of exactly the right word to describe it - but it’s a wooden platform over the water.
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It looks as if the girl with the red towel on her shoulder who is sitting behind the boy in the stripey T-shirt has just been swimming.  By the look of the surface of the water, I would say it was taken on quite a windy day.


The photos are both similar in some ways, in that they were both taken outdoors and probably in the summer, and both of them have mountains in the distance. Another thing they have in common is that they both show people who may well be on holiday.

 

In terms of the differences between them, the first photo was taken in an area high up in the mountains, which we can tell from the fact that they are clearly hiking down a hill, whereas the second photo must have been taken at sea level - unless of course, this is a mountain lake rather than the sea!  Another difference is that the people in the second photo are clearly having a day of relaxation, while the people in the first picture must have a long day’s walk ahead of them.
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As to which of the activities I would prefer
, I think that would depend on how I was feeling on the day. I would enjoy both activities. However, hiking in mountains is one of my favourite pastimes so I'm going to go with the activity in the first photo as my preferred activity.

Try 5 more Compare and Contrast Audio lessons here

Now listen again and try this interactive exercise:

More Compare and Contrast Lessons

Are you trying to get a better score in your IELTS exam? In this new course, you can access 10 of my most popular IELTS Speaking Test part 2 answers, all with downloadable audio, PDF and interactive listening and vocabulary exercises. 

 

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