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There is an IELTS writing task: enter image description here

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Is this description correct?

According to the table, it is clearly seen that car use prevails in all represented countries. The leader in the group is Canada with 90 percent of journeys made by cars. The last place in this category is the Netherlands with almost twice less car use.

I'm particularly interested in the phrases in bold. Is it ok to say 'the leader in the group'? 'The last place in this category is...'? 'Twice less' definitely sounds odd, but I'm not sure how to rephrase it.

Will appreciate any help.

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  • The expression "twice less" is confusing to me. Better to say "half". Here you could say "slightly more than half" or "about half".
    – David42
    Mar 9, 2021 at 16:33
  • @David42 thank you for your answer! Do you mean it's better to say, 'The last place in this category is the Netherlands with about half car use'?
    – i_yre_b
    Mar 9, 2021 at 16:36
  • Yes, but you would use the definite article: "the Netherlands with about half the car use". It is definite because it refers to the level of car use in Canada. I'm also not sure whether you you really mean to say that these four countries are joined in a group or category. If not, if they have been selected arbitrarily, then it would be better to say "The leader among these countries..."
    – David42
    Mar 9, 2021 at 16:54
  • @David42 thank you! I thought so too. Your answer was really helpful. Could you, please, tell me if it's wrong to say 'almost half the car use'?
    – i_yre_b
    Mar 9, 2021 at 18:01
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    Using 'almost' does not tell the reader whether The Netherlands has less or more than half the car use of other countries. Usually, 'almost' means 'almost as much as' but from the table, they have more than half the use by citizens of any of the other countries. So The Netherlands has only a little more than half the car use of Canadians. Mar 9, 2021 at 18:13

1 Answer 1

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The “twice less” should be “half.”

Other than that, it is grammatical, but I’m not sure if it says what you meant to say.

Saying “the leader” and “last place” makes it sound like Canada is winning and the Netherlands is losing - which implies that you are strongly in favor of car use. It is proper English but it conveys a judgment or opinion, which might not be what you intended.

More neutral language would be to simply say “Canada has the highest car usage” and “The Netherlands has the lowest.”

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  • Thank you, SegNerd! I thought so too!
    – i_yre_b
    Mar 10, 2021 at 7:26

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