IELTS Writing Task 2 linking words On the other hand
How to use on the contrary in the IELTS test.

On the contrary IELTS writing Task 1 Task 2 model answers charts tables Speaking


On the contrary is not the same as in contrast.

Here’s a good explanation of the difference

The phrase “on the contrary” is used to reply to an opposing point. Your friend tells you she is moving to New York and you express surprise because you thought she hated big cities. She replies, “On the contrary, I’ve always wanted to live in an urban area.”

When a distinction is being made that does not involve opposition of this sort, “in contrast” is appropriate. “In New York, you don’t need a car. In Los Angeles, in contrast, you can’t really get along without one, though you won’t need a snow shovel.”

Here’s a simple test: if you could possibly substitute “that’s wrong” the phrase you want is “on the contrary”  If not, then use “in contrast.”

If you could possibly substitute “that’s wrong” the phrase you want is “on the contrary” 

In contrast is like on the other hand

Look these sentences and observe the difference, then complete the exercises

  1. It wasn't a good idea to borrow all that money from the bank; on the contrary, it was a huge mistake.
  2. It wasn't a good idea to borrow all that money from the bank. In contrast, doing some overtime to earn more money would have been a much better idea.
  3. I heard from my friends that the movie wasn’t very interesting, but it’s not true. On the contrary, I thought it was fascinating.
  4. I heard from my friends that the new Star Wars movie was boring. In contrast, the new Bond film was really exciting.

Now complete the following sentences

    1. She didn’t enjoy the movie because it was too violent.
      ______________, I loved it.
    2. She complained that the movie was too violent, but it’s not true. ______________, there was only one violent scene in the whole film.
    1. Arranged marriages are not common in the west. ______________,they are quite rare.
    2. Arranged marriages are common in many Middle Eastern countries. ______________, in the West, they are unusual.
    1. We had to expel your son from the school for unruly behaviour. ______________,  your daughter has been made school captain..
    2. We haven't expelled your son from the school. ______________, we're trying to help him to improve his behaviour.
    1. Tablet computers are lighter and more portable than laptops. ______________, laptops are much more versatile.
    2. Some people think tablets will completely replace laptop computer, but it’s not true.. ______________, laptops are more popular than ever.

See the full Learn from the mistake of others playlist on Youtube here

For more on Task 2 see here

For Task 2 introductions, see here

For Task 2 topic sentences, see here

For Task 2 paragraph building, see here

I have high band score model answers for sale here

Let me know what you think - leave a comment below.

Click on the icons below to share.

Contact me here.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments