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Grammar 37 - Comparatives - Trends
This quiz is all about bottles of tomato ketchup!

Grammar 37 - Comparatives - Trends

In the previous High English grammar quizzes on comparatives we have seen how comparisons can be made and the words which are used to express these comparisons. This quiz is all about comparatives used to describe trends.

We make use of comparatives when we compare two attributes, places or things. We make use of superlatives to highlight when we look at three or more attributes, places or things. A very important aspect of comparisons, apart from the actual bare facts, is the recognition of trends. For instance, if in a city the number of thefts has come down from 286 per month to 143 per month in the preceding six months, then we can say that the number of thefts HAS HALVED. The words in capitals are an expression used to compare the data at the beginning of the period to the data at the end of the period. When we use the ‘has halved’ expression the reader or the listener is immediately able to see the trend in the number of thefts and come to the conclusion that the trend is down.

Interpretation of data from a table or graph is very useful when you want to convey the gist of the data presented. The interpretation becomes very useful when data is summarised and the data is presented in simple cogent terms with trends being disseminated. Description also comes in handy in a business context when we have to make presentations.

English grammar uses several forms of expressions for describing trends. We can use a verb or an adjective and noun to describe movement or the speed and size of the movement. For instance, in the above example we could say ‘the number of thefts DECREASED SIGNIFICANTLY’ or ‘there was a SIGNIFICANT DECREASE in the number of thefts.’ There are certain words or groups of words that can be used to describe upward trend such as ‘doubled’ or ‘tripled.’ Words used to describe downward trend include ‘halved’ or ‘two times lower.’ When there is no trend discernible we could use words such as ‘as good as’ or ‘same as.’

The quiz on grammar that follows is based on the summary of the table presented below. Take the quiz and see how you can locate trends.


As ketchup retailers reduced the orders for larger bottles, they began ordering smaller bottles. This is confirmed when we compare figures for the 500 cc bottles with those for 200 cc bottles. In the month of July 2014, two times as many 500 cc bottles as 200 cc bottles were ordered. By September 2014, orders for 500 cc bottles and 200 cc bottles were virtually the same. By December 2014, orders for 200 cc bottles were more than quintupled as compared to those of 500 cc bottles. Data shows that while the orders for 500 cc bottles reduced by 50% between July 2014 and December 2014, over the same period orders for 200 cc bottles were ten times greater.
1.
Look at the table and summary and choose from the following the comparative word or words used to compare the data presented in the table.
Smaller
Ordering
500 cc bottles
200 cc bottles
Data about 500 cc bottles and 200 cc bottles are being compared. The word 'smaller' is used to describe the 200 cc bottle and it is a comparative of the word 'small.' The words in the other options are not comparatives
2.
Look at the table and summary and choose from the following the comparative word or words used to compare the data presented in the table.
Began
Bottles
Ketchup retailers
Those
In the phrase 'when we compare figures for the 500 cc bottles with those for 200 cc bottles' the word 'those' is used to compare between the two sizes of the bottles. The words in the other options are not comparatives
3.
Look at the table and summary and choose from the following the comparative word or words used to compare the data presented in the table.
Began ordering
Two times as many as
Month of July 2014
This is confirmed
The phrase is used to compare the orders in July 2014 between the two sizes of bottles. The other options are not comparatives
4.
Look at the table and summary and choose from the following the comparative word or words used to compare the data presented in the table.
Bottles
September 2014
Same
Virtually
'Same' is a word used to compare two attributes when they are similar or equal. The other options are not comparatives
5.
Look at the table and summary and choose from the following the comparative word or words used to compare the data presented in the table.
Orders for
Bottles were
Compared to
More than quintupled
The phrase is used to compare the orders in December 2014 between the two sizes of bottles. The other options are not comparatives
6.
Look at the table and summary and choose from the following the comparative word or words used to compare the data presented in the table.
Ten times greater
Period orders
Bottles reduced
July 2014 and December 2014
The phrase is used to compare the orders in December 2014 between the two sizes of bottles. The other options are not comparatives
7.
From the table and the summary what is the main trend you can discern?
There are six months between July 2014 and December 2014.
500 cc bottles are bigger than 200 cc bottles.
That orders for 200 cc bottles as compared to orders for 500 cc bottles increased dramatically in six months.
Ketchup bottles come in two sizes.
The main trend is the fact that orders for 200 cc bottles were half that of 500 cc bottles and in six month's time the orders increased dramatically to become five times the size of orders for 500 cc bottles. In the other options only facts are stated without any trends being identified
8.
"In the month of July 2014, two times as many 500 cc bottles as 200 cc bottles were ordered."
Choose the sentence from the following which is the same as this one but with a different comparative.
In the month of July 2014, twice as more 500 cc bottles as 200 cc bottles were ordered.
In the month of July 2014, twice as many 500 cc bottles as 200 cc bottles were ordered.
In the month of July 2014, twice more 500 cc bottles as 200 cc bottles were ordered.
In the month of July 2014, twice as much 500 cc bottles as 200 cc bottles were ordered.
'Twice' replaces 'two times' and it is a legitimate alternative. The other options use their comparatives wrongly
9.
"Data shows that while the orders for 500 cc bottles reduced by 50% between July 2014 and December 2014, over the same period orders for 200 cc bottles were ten times greater."
Choose the sentence from the following which is the same as this one but with a different comparative.
Data shows that while the orders for 500 cc bottles reduced by 50% between July 2014 and December 2014, over the same period orders for 200 cc bottles were dramatically greater
Data shows that while the orders for 500 cc bottles reduced by 50% between July 2014 and December 2014, over the same period orders for 200 cc bottles were marginally greater.
Data shows that while the orders for 500 cc bottles reduced by 50% between July 2014 and December 2014, over the same period orders for 200 cc bottles were insignificantly greater.
Data shows that while the orders for 500 cc bottles reduced by 50% between July 2014 and December 2014, over the same period orders for 200 cc bottles were greater.
A factor of ten times is very large and it can be described as being 'dramatically' greater. The other options do not reflect the magnitude of the increase in orders
10.
"By December 2014, orders for 200 cc bottles were more than quintupled as compared to those of 500 cc bottles."
Choose the sentence from the following which is the same as this one but with a different comparative.
By December 2014, orders for 200 cc bottles were same than quintupled as compared to those of 500 cc bottles.
By December 2014, orders for 200 cc bottles were much than quintupled as compared to those of 500 cc bottles.
By December 2014, orders for 200 cc bottles were most than quintupled as compared to those of 500 cc bottles.
By December 2014, orders for 200 cc bottles were more than five times higher as compared to those of 500 cc bottles.
'Five times' is replacing 'quintupled' and it is a legitimate alternative. The other options have wrong usage of comparatives
Author:  V T Narendra

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