Describing graphs


It may occur to you that "describing graphs" is not so interesting. We think just the
opposite. We are positive that when you have a look at our page you will understand
why. We know also that it can help in a way in your (future) business activities. We are
sure that what we have put on this page can facilitate the importance and solve problems
related to this activity.
When you have finished doing the exercises you can check how well you did in our
Answers to exercises.
If some words or phrases are too tough for you, you can always check the dictionary .

Helpful words and phrases:


go up take off shoot up soar jump
increase rise grow rocket improve


an increase a rise a growth an improvement
an upturn a surge an upsurge an upward trend


go/come down fall fall off drop slump
decline decrease plummet slip shrink


a fall a decrease a decline a drop
a downturn a downturn trend


remain stable level off stay at the same level
remain constant stagnate stabilise

AT THE TOP-verbs

reach a peak peak top out


reach a low point bottom out recover


Adjectives: dramatic, considerable, sharp, significant, substantial, moderate,

Adverbs: dramatically, considerably, sharply, significantly, substantially,
moderately, slightly


abrupt sudden rapid quick
steady gradual slow


a rise from 10$ to 12$ to increase by 50% to fall by 30%
an increase of 7.5 per cent over last year


Exercise 1

You will see graphs below. Which graph illustrates the movement described in these

1.The market is showing some signs of growth.
2.The market is extremely volatile.
3.The pound slipped back against the dollar.
4.The Swiss franc is staging a recovery.
5.The lira lost ground slightly.
6.There's been a dramatic downturn in the market.
7.There's been an upsurge of interest in gold.
8.The share price bottomed out at 115p.
9.Sugar peaked at $400 a tonne.
10.Profits will level off at around L1
11.Sales hit an all-time low.
12.There hasn't been much movement in the price of tin.

graph_01.gif (2138 bytes)

Exercise 2

The financial press is full of expressions of change and development. Chose the correct
verbs and try to connect them with appropriate graphs according to the type of change
they describe:

slump rise recover plunge pick up plummet
drop soar bounce back take off climb rally
fluctuate fall stabilise slide flatten out crash
hold steady escalate decline rocket dip

graph_02.gif (1643 bytes)

Exercise 3

Read these descriptions of a company's operating figures and match them to the correct
graphs. Label the graphs with the correct title.

When demand decreased at the start of the year, UK sales fell sharply. They remained
steady until April, then rose again dramatically in the second quarter when the market

The decrease in overseas sales caused a dramatic drop in output at the Birmingham plant
in the first quarter. There was a steady increase in the second when domestic sales

There was a steady decrease in stock levels at the Headingley plant in the first quarter
due to the introduction of a new inventory control system. The slight increase in the
second quarter was due to the rise in output.

The profits of the plastics division have fallen steadily over the last five months due to
the fall in demand and increases in production costs. The slight rise in profits last month
was due to the recent price increases.

A sudden jump in the production costs of the Sarander caused a drop in the profit margin
in the first quarter. The margin remained the same in the second, due to a sharp fall in
the costs of components.

graph_03.gif (16786 bytes)

Exercise 4

Study the graph (which you will see below), then complete the description given below.

graph_05.gif (2554 bytes)

In 1965, the price of New Zealand's wool ................... $1.98 per kilo. It then
......................... by 20 cents in 1966 before falling ...................... to $1.37 in
1971. There was a ....................... increase over the next two years, with the price
of wool ........................ of $5.13 in 1973. From 1974 to 1978 the price
................... between a high of $3.20 and a low of $2.75, before .........................
$4.60 in 1980. After falling again to $3.60 in 1983, the price ........................... at
$3.55 in 1985.

| Answers to exercises