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We can describe trends in English in different ways.


Describing trends

Verbs of change Demand for BlackBerries has soared in recent years. Sales are fo/ling. Prafits improved in July. Prepositions
Prafits rase 5% to $1.4 billion. The sales of Dupont have gone up fram $19.6 billion to $27.4 billion. Sales rase by 20% aver the holiday period. This represents a decrease of 16.4% from the first quarter. The average retail gasoline price stood at $4. 1 1 a gal/on yesterday.

b lL

3 Different verb forms The figures paint a gloomy picture forJapanese growth. (present simple) The unemployment rate is rising. ( present continuous) Last summer, our market share fell. (past simple) This year, orders fram Brazil have levelled off. (present perfect) If the price ofpetral rises further, we'll make a loss. (first conditional)

Cl Grammar reference page 148

What kind of movement do these verbs describe? Match them to the symbols (1-11) on the left. Then compare your answers with your partner. (You will need to use some symbols more than once.)
decline gain drop increase rocket plummet double fall halve level off triple recover decrease fluctuate improve peak rise jump

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Which of the verbs in Exercise A also have noun forms? What are they?

to increase - a n ;f)crease

look at the graphs below. Complete the sentences about them with appropriate prepositions.
2 Sales have increased . . . . . Sm . . . . . . . . . . . 7m. Sales have increased . . . . . . . . . . . . 2m.


3 There has been an increase . . . . . . . . . . . 2m in our sales. 4 Sales now stand . . . . . . . . . . . . 7m.
5 6



Sales reached a peak . . . . . . . . . . 7m in July. Sales reached a low point . . . . . . . . . . . lm in April.


Write two more sentences about each of these graphs.

8 8 7 6 5 6

4 E 3 2 0

. "

4 E 3 2 0

. "

last year

This year



11 Articles
The indefinite article: a/an
We use alan in the following ways: 1 before unspecified singular countable nouns.


Describing trends
To describe changing circumstances, we can use verbs of movement.

improve increase decline

recover rise fal/

(..) ('o)

She works in an office.

2 with the names of professions.

decrease drop

A dramatic movement may be expressed by:

She's an executive and he's a manager.

3 in expressions of measurement.

rocket dive

soar plummet (..) dip

A slight movement can be indicated by:

We charge $500an hour. It sel/s at 1.75 a litre.

4 before a noun to mean all things of the same type.

edge up edge down

The amount of increase can also be indicated using these verbs:

A 1055 leader is an article that a store sel/s at a law price to tempt customers to buy other goods.

halve double triple quadruple increase tenfold

Or with a preposition:

(x2) (x3) (x4) (xl 0)

The definite article: the

We use the: 1 when it is clear from the context what particular thing or place is meant.

Our business grew by 15% last year. Sales have increased from 5 million to 5.B mil/ion.
2 Changes which have not reached their end-point are expressed using -ing.

/'1/ meet you in the reception area.

2 before a noun that we have mentioned before.

They had a villa in Cannes and a chalet in Innsbruck, but they sold the viI/a.
3 before adjectives to specify a category of people or things.

Profits are falling. Unemployment has been rising.

If the change is com plete, we use a perfect tense.

the rich, the poor, the French, the unemployed, the World Wide Web

The government has privatised the rail network. Sales have increased, and that has meant higher profits.

Zero article: (m
We do not use an article before: 1 mass nouns used in general statements. (iii) Money is the root of 01/ (iii ) evil. 2 the names of places and people. (iii) Poland, (iii ) Japan, (iii) Dr Spock, (iii ) President Obama