Contrast and Concession words in IELTS: How to speak like native speakers of English


Use of Concession Words- Smiley Pearls Blog

Contrast and Concession words.

Welcome to my class again. Trust we are all good?

Today I want to go into something different, something not “parts of speech”. Something like “Contrast and Concession words”. They will help you understand how to link words/statements together. They are called linking words of contrast and concession

Using concession words in IELTS help add value to essay writings. Concession is using the opposite of what other people think to write your opinion about it, and then separated by a comma. They are words used to connect and help communicate more complex opposing ideas.

Contrasts are words used to identify differences between two subjects, places, things, and persons.

Contraction words are formed by joining two words together and separated by an apostrophe. They are very useful in spoken and written words more especially in spoken words. They help us speak like native speakers of English. They make us speak fluently.


You are =you’re

Are not= aren’t

Did not= didn’t

Cannot = Can’t

Should not= shouldn’t

Do not= don’t

Now let’s form a sentence with them

  1. You are becoming a naughty boy

You’re becoming a naughty boy

  1. Those boys are not serious


  1. I did not call you here

Ididn’t call you here

  1. She is coming to my house

She’s coming to my house

  1. She does not like the house

She doesn’t like the house

You can check out more of the contraction words in my other posts to have a better understanding of them.

Contrast and Concession words are words used to support or agree with an opinion. They can be used to combine two statements in other to make a point. Such words like although, despite, in spite of, even though, even if, though

Now let’s see how they are used in a sentence

  1. Although he is old, he still worked fast
  2. Despite all his knowledge, he failed the exam
  3. Inspiteof earning a low salary, she lived a flamboyant life
  4. I will help him evenif I don’t have much
  5. She came to my house eventhough I didn’t invite her

There are other ways you can express contrast. They may appear at the beginning, middle or at the end of a sentence.


  1. I love movies, but my sister loves reading
  2. I didn’t read my books, yet I passed my exams
  3. You didn’t study for the exams; nevertheless, I will help you
  4. My mother is asking me for a car on the other hand my wife wants a new house
  5. The interview is based on qualifications. However, those without qualifications will be given consideration

NOTE: However, nevertheless, but, yet are usually used to express contrast

Examples of concession words in IELTS

  1. I used to live in London, but now I live in America
  2. Even though I live in London, I work in America
  3. Although I was reading an exciting novel, I still fell asleep
  4. Despite what she did to you, you went to her house
  5. That woman has saved a lot of money in spite of having many problems


The first example shows contrast: In the first sentence “I used to live in London” indicates my previous place of residence while the second sentence “but now I live in America” indicates that I now live in America.

The second example shows the opposing idea called concession: in the second sentence “Even though I live in London, shows where I live now while the second sentence “but I work in America” is a surprise sentence for my readers which they do not expect.

These words are also known as linking words of concession and contraction in IELTS writing. They help to convey meaning or pass information about our opinion on something or in a sentence.

Okay! Let’s practice this s

Join the two pairs of sentences using the words in the brackets

  1. We carefully made preparations for the program. The program was a flop (although)

Although we carefully made preparations for the program, the program was still a flop

  1. I went to school. I was still ill (even if)

I went to school even if I was ill

  1. She helped her parents. The low salary income (in spite of)

She helped her parents in spite of her low salary income

  1. My mother slept deeply. The noise was loud

Though the noise was loud, my mother slept deeply

  1. The problem was difficult. They provided a solution (despite)

They provided a solution despite the difficult problem

Now let’s look at the other ways we can use compare and contrast in IELTS

How to Use Compare and Contrast in Ielts Essay Writing

Here, the student is expected to discuss the points of comparing and contrasting (similarities and differences) the two things involved. These similarity and different points of the two things involved are usually noted while reading the question for ielts essay writing.


Some want to drive a car while others prefer trekking

In these ielts essay writing, there are two points to discuss:

  1. The benefits of driving a car/trekking
  2. The problems of driving a car/trekking

Let’s look at other examples

Some people believe that online learning is the future of education. In my opinion, both online education and traditional class complete each other.

In these ielts essay writing, there are two points to discuss:

  1. The benefits of online learning/traditional class
  2. The problems of online learning and traditional class

Okay! You can try this

  1. It is the responsibility of parents to enforce more discipline on a child while others believe it is the teachers
  2. Some people believe that a child learns more when he/she is on low hair cut while others don’t

Good luck!

You can give your own thoughts on the use of contraction and concession in ielts writing…Thanks!

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