Business English Lesson – Words and Phrases to Describe Graphs

The business English lesson for English phrases to describe graphs will look at words and phrases that you can use to describe changes in a chart or graph. This lesson will also look at the different ways you can use the words and phrases using the verb form and using the noun form.

Let’s take a look at the words and phrases you can use to describe what is happening or changing on a graph over time. The following words and phrases can be used to describe changes in a graph or chart.

Upward: increase, climb, rise, rocket, trickle, took off, jump, soar, etc. 

Downward: fall, decline, decrease, collapse, plunge, drop, slump, decline, etc. 

Magnitude: steady, rapidly, quickly, slight, large, big, dramatic, etc. 

There are many other words that can be used to describe the changes in a graph.

For upward changes, downward changes, and no change you can use verb and noun phrases to talk about the changes when you describe graphs. 

For upward changes you can use the words in the following way: 

The verb form goes like this:

  • Income rose by 5%, or by $100.
  • Costs increased by $1,000,000 in 2014
  • Revenue climbed 15% in 2013

The noun form would go like this:

  • There was a rise in income of 5% or of $100
  • In 2014 we experienced a $1,000,000 increase in costs
  • We saw a climb in revenue of 15% in 2013

For downward changes can use the words in the following way:

The verb form goes like this:

  • Yearly dividends dropped by 50%
  • Revenue declined by $1,000,000 in December
  • The stock market collapsed in 2014
  • Oil prices plunged at the end of 2014

The noun form would go like this:

  • There was a 50% drop in yearly dividends
  • December had a decline in revenue of $1,000,000
  • In 2014 the stock market experienced a collapse.
  • At the end of 2014 there was a plunge in oil prices

Some words can be used to modify the upward or downward phrases to give you more of an idea about the magnitude of the change.

Used with verbs like this:

  • Company revenue slightly decreased in 2014
  • Sales declined dramatically after Christmas
  • Income rose steadily in 2014

Notice that the adverb form of the word is used with verbs.

Used with nouns like this:

  • There was a slight climb in sales during the last month
  • There was a steady increase in company revenue during 2014
  • There was a large decline in revenue towards the end of 2014

Notice that the adjective form of the word is used with nouns.

Sometimes the verb or noun used will give you an indication of the magnitude such as rocketed, soared, plunged, collapsed, etc. Sales plunged in February of 2014. Or, there was a plunge in sales during February.

This was a short look at some of the words and phrases that you can use to describe the changes in graphs. We also looked at using the words as verbs or as nouns and the sentence structure that was needed to do so. You can know start to use these words and phrases to describe graphs at work or in presentations.

 

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