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1. Describing trends:

In business and everyday English, you sometimes have to describe changes in trends (movement or tendency), graphs, and diagrams.
In the business context, you may have to describe trends in reports, meetings, and presentations. In everyday life, you could describe changes in any subject because things change all the time!
Describing changes and trends generally consists of three parts:
§ Use a verb (or an adjective and a noun) to describe movement

§ Describe the speed or size of the movement

§ Explain the reason or consequence of the change

You can also view it this way: Verb + Speed or Size + Result/Reason/Consequence
Sentence structures:
1.1. (Time period) + Subject + Verb to describe change + Adverb to describe the degree/ the speed of change.
1.2. (Time period) + “There” to introduce the subject + article + Adjective to describe the degree/ speed of change + Noun to describe change + in “what”

Describing the movement: adjectives and adverbs
Sometimes we need to give more information about a trend as follows:
There has been a slight increase in the value of the dollar (degree of change)
Unemployment fell rapidly last year (the speed of change)
Remember that we modify a noun with an adjective (a slight increase) and a verb with an adverb (to increase slightly).

Exercise 1
Use the following terms and any others necessary to describe the graph below.

initially, stood at, dip/dipped, peak/peaked, level/levelled out
We can describe a trend by looking at:
§ the difference between two levels

§ the end point of the trend

Describing the difference between two levels
This year unemployment has increased by 20,000 cases (the difference between this year and last year is 20,000 cases).
This year there has been an increase in unemployment of 5%.

Notice the prepositions. We use to increase by (with the verb) and an increase of (with the noun).
Describing the end point
This year unemployment has risen to 10% (the end result is that unemployment is up to 10%).
This year there has been a rise in unemployment to 10%.

Notice the prepositions. We use to rise to (with the verb) and a rise to (with the noun).
Expressing approximation
We use words to express approximation when the point we are trying to describe is between milestones on the graph.
just under
well under
just over
well over
Time Expressions You Can Use

§ In January / In 2011

§ In Q1 / Q2 / Q3 / Q4 (In the first quarter / second quarter / third quarter / fourth quarter)

§ From January to March

§ Between April and July

( to be continued)

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