Business Writing

Describing Graphs and Charts

3. 11. 2014

Often when we write reports we need to include graphs and charts and we need to describe what is happening in them. Do you find yourself writing, “went down slowly” or “went up quickly”? Or using the same words over and over?

Here are some nouns and verbs that might help you add variety to your text.

Verbs Nouns
For upward trends (i.e. when
lines are going up on a graph)
Rise
Increase
Grow
Go up
Improve
Jump
Surge
Shoot up
Soar
Rocket
Recover, stage a recovery
Expand
A rise
An increase
Growth
An upward trend
An increasing trend
A rising trend
An improvement
A jump
A surge
A recovery
An expansion
For downward trends Fall
Decrease
Drop
Decline
Go down
Slump
Plummet
Reduce
A fall
A decrease
A decline
A downward trend
A falling trend
A decreasing trend
A slump
A reduction
When things aren’t changing Remain constant
Remain stable
Stay at the same level
Stabilise
Level out
Plateau
When there is a frequent change Fluctuate Fluctuation
When the line hits its
lowest level
Bottoms out
Reaches a low
Hits a low
Reaches its lowest point
Hits its lowest point
Lowest level
When the line hits its highest point Peaks
Reaches its highest point
Reaches a peak
Highest level

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We can also use a range of adjectives and adverbs to describe how the movement is occurring.

Adjectives Adverbs
Considerable Considerably
Dramatic Dramatically
Gradual Gradually
Marked Markedly
Moderate Moderately
Rapid Rapidly
Sharp Sharply
Significant Significantly
Slight Slightly
Slow Slowly
Steady Steadily
Steep Steeply
Sudden Suddenly

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Now you can’t use all of these words all of the time, but with the help of this vocabulary you should be able to explain your graphs and charts in a clear and meaningful way, indicating the direction and speed/magnitude of the movement without just saying ‘went down’ and ‘went up’.

2 komentáře: “Describing Graphs and Charts”

  1. Thank you for noticing and drawing it to our attention. In the second table it should of course be „Adverbs“ rather than „Adverts“. We have fixed the mistake. The spell checker is not always our friend.

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