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Types of Trend

On this page:  Descriptions of various types of trend, and an exercise.

Instructions: Look at the graphs and read the descriptions. Important vocabulary is in bold. Then do the exercise.

Starting at 145 units, sales have fluctuated between a low of 125 and a peak of 200 in the last 12 months, before ending at 150 units last month.
 
Sales rose gradually from 53 units in January to 74 units in December.

Sales increased gradually.

There was a gradual increase in sales.

There was a gradual rise in sales.

 
Sales increased dramatically in from 6 in January to 50 in December.

Sales rose dramatically in

Sales rose steeply in

There was a dramatic increase in sales in

There was a dramatic rise in sales in

There was a steep rise in sales in

 
Sales fell gradually from 100 in January to less than 80 in December.

Sales decreased gradually.

Sales declined gradually.

There was a gradual decrease in sales.

There was a gradual fall in sales.

There was a gradual decline in sales.

 
Sales decreased dramatically in from 100 in January to about 10 in December.

Sales fell dramatically in

Sales fell steeply in

There was a dramatic decrease in sales in

There was a dramatic fall in sales in

There was a steep fall in sales in

Sales jumped in June.

There was a jump in sales in June.

Sales started the year at 50, and climbed gradually to just over 60 in May. In June, sales jumped to 125 units, and then continued to increase gradually to about 150 units in December.

Sales fell steeply in October.

There was a steep fall in sales in October.

Sales started the year at a level of 150 units per month, before declining gradually from May to September to just over 120. In October, sales fell steeply to less than 60, and continued to decline to about 45 in December.

Sales reached a plateau in June.

There was a plateau in sales from June to September.

Sales leveled off in June.

Sales generally rose in 2006, climbing from 40 to 100 units, although there was a plateau in the summer months at 80 units.

Sales went through a trough in the summer.

There was a trough in sales in the summer.

Sales started and ended the year at about 100 units, although they went through a trough in the summer, reaching a low of 50 units from June to August.

   

Vocabulary:

 

Aim: This exercise is to help you to describe features of line graphs.

Exercise
Choose the correct word from the drop-down list. The word you chose should be suitable for a formal report.

  1. In the past 12 months sales have between 25 and 75.

     

    Answer:
    fluctuated.

    Explanation:

    • 'gone up and down' is too informal
    • 'increased and decreased', 'varied' and 'rose and fell' do not have the meaning of so many changes

  2. Sales from the middle of the year.

     

    Answer:
    fell steeply

    Explanation:

    • 'declined' and 'decreased' do not show how steep the fall was
    • 'went into free-fall' and 'nose-dived' are too dramatic for a formal report

  3. Sales reached a in June.

     

    Answer:
    plateau

    Explanation:
    The correct term is 'plateau'. 'Flat place' and 'level place' are not common trend-description vocabulary.

  4. Sales in .

     

    Answer:
    fell gradually

    Explanation:
    The description should contain 'gradually' to show the rate of change.

  5. Sales in autumn.

    Answer:
    went through a trough

    Explanation:
    The phrase 'in autumn' shows that the time is in the past and has finished, so the past tense is correct.

  6. Sales gradually from January to December.

     

    Answer:
    rose

    Explanation:
    'rose' is the past tense. 'Arose' means 'started'.

  7. There was a in sales in June.

     

    Answer:
    jump

    Explanation:
    Of the options, only 'jump' is used in describing line charts.

  8. There was a decrease in sales in .

     

    Answer:
    dramatic

    Explanation:
    'Dramatic' is an adjective, and adds information to the noun 'decrease'. However, 'drama' is a noun, and dramatically is an adverb, neither of which fit this sentence structure.

  9. Sales steeply last year.

     

    Answer:
    rose

    Explanation:
    Because last year has finished, the past tense is correct. The past tense of 'rise' is 'rose'. 'Raised' is not correct because sales did not 'raise' anything.

  10. Sales leveled off .

     

    Answer:
    in June

    Explanation:
    'Leveled off ' describes the single point where something changed from not level to level.

  11. Your total score is:

 

 

 

 

Last updated on: Monday, March 26, 2012