In this unit we look at the language used to describe charts and graphs. Graphs or charts help people understand data quickly. You can use them to make a comparison or show a trend.

At the end of this unit you should know some useful vocabulary for describing charts and graphs.

1. Types of chart.

  • Pie chart

A pie chart is used to show percentages


  • Bar chart

A bar chart is used to compare different sets of information


  • Line graph

A lline graph is most useful for showing trends.



2. What is a trend?

A trend is a general tendency or direction.

an upward/downward trend


3. Vocabulary for describing graphs


Helpful words and phrases for describing graphs

  • UP – Verbs rise, increase, grow, go up, improve, jump, surge, shoot up , soar, rocket
  • UP – Nouns a rise, an increase, growth, an upward/rising/increasing trend, an improvement, a jump, a surge
  • DOWN – Verbs fall, decrease, drop, decline, go down, slump, plummet
  • DOWN – Nouns a fall, a decrease, a decline, a downward/falling/decreasing trend, a slump
  • NO CHANGE – Verbs remain stable/constant, stay at the same level, stabilize
  • FREQUENT CHANGE – Verb fluctuate
  • FREQUENT CHANGE – Noun – fluctuation
  • AT THE TOP – Verbs reach a peak, peak., reach its/their highest point
  • AT THE BOTTOM – Verbs reach/hit a low (point), hit/reach its/their lowest point



  • dramatic, considerable, sharp, significant, moderate, slight, sudden, rapid, steady, gradual, slow


  • dramatically, considerably, sharply, significantly, moderately, slightly, suddenly, rapidly, steadily, gradually, slowly


  • a rise from £725 to £825
  • to increase by 2.1 %
  • an increase of 2.1 % in the crime rate


4. The following site helps you understand and revise some important vocabulary.

5. The following exercises help you practise the vocabulary for describing graphs.

6. Fill in all the gaps, then click "Saada" to check your answers.

The total property crime rate and B&E rate between 2000 and 2007

Unit of count: offences per 100 000 population

iDevide ikoon Täida lüngad
Fill in all the gaps.

1. Introduction

This report examines the changes in the total property crime rate and the break and enter rate between 2000 and 2007.

2. Findings.
In 2000 the total property crime rate was 2500 offences per 100 000 population. Then the rate 1) rose (sharply/sharp) and reached 3800 in 2001. After a 2) (moderate/moderately )fall in 2002, the rate started to 3) (increase/decrease) again and reached a 4) (peak/top) in 2003. However, after 5) (stabilizing/fluctuating ) for some months, the total property crime rate dropped 6) (considerably/considerable) throughout 2004 and the beginning of 2005.
The rate stayed at about 2400 offences from mid-2005 7) (to/until) mid-2006 before 8) (decreasing/decrease) again.

In 2000 the break and enter rate was about 760 offences per 100 000 population. 9) From(From/since) 2000 to 2003, there was a steady 10) (upward/downward)trend in the B rate. The rate 11) (reached/arrived) its highest point in 2003 and then 12) (showed/fell) a significant downward trend until mid-2005. After being stable for a few months, the rate continued to fall 13 (slightly/slight), dropping to around 780 in 2007.

3 .Conclusion

The total property crime rate fluctuated from 2000 to 2003, whereas the break and enter rate showed a general upward trend. Both rates peaked in 2003, fell significantly until mid-2005, stabilized for some months and 14) (fell/grew) slightly during 2006 and 2007 .