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.