Introduction:

In the last two exercises on describing trends, we looked at the different ways to describe increases and decreases in graphs/charts (e.g. rise, fall sharply etc..). It is important to know this, but if you want to sound more fluent when describing changes in graphs/charts, you need to know more advanced vocabulary.

In this online exercise on describing trends and changes in graphs/charts in English, we will look at more advanced vocabulary that is commonly used in both business and professional English.

Click here to go to the second part of this 'Vocabulary for describing trends exercise'


Exercise: Describing changes in a chart in a business presentation

Read the following presentation by an analyst about the changes in the value of the euro against the US dollar. Focus on how the analyst describes the changes in its value and how they compare to the data/information in the chart below.

Using both the context and the chart, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Euro Value Chart

Analyst:'This chart shows the changes in the value of the euro against the US dollar between January and October of 2010.

As you can see, in January and February the value of one euro fluctuated between $1.38 and $1.45. By March, this fluctuation stopped and the value settled down. During the month of April, the value of the euro plunged. It reached its lowest point of $1.20 at the end of April. During May, the value of the euro recovered. Slightly at first, but then more sharply between the middle and the end of the month.

Throughout the month of June, the value of the euro remained constant at a value of $1.37. But this changed in July, when the value soared from $1.37 to $1.66 due to fears about the level of US government debt. In August, this dramatic rise levelled off. This levelling off continued into the month of September, where the euro's value peaked at $1.68. But during October the value fell back, finishing the month with a value of $1.47.'




Quiz: Vocabulary for describing trends part 3

Using one of the words/phrases in bold from the above text, choose the word(s) from the question's selection box so that the sentence matches with the data in the below chart for the number of monthly visits to the Dacia website. Only use one word/phrase once and write it as it is in the text. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

Website Visit Chart

1. In January, the number of visits            

Plunged:
(verb) 'to plunge' has the same meaning as 'to plummet' or 'to decrease dramatically'. When you want to say the quantity of the fall, the verb is followed by the preposition 'by' and the number, e.g. 'it plunged by 21,000'. When you want to say what value it finally reached, the verb is followed by the preposition 'to', e.g. 'the euro plunged to $1.37'. In Spanish: "desplomarse".

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Plunged:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. In February, the fall in visits            

Levelled off:
(phrasal verb) 'to level off' means that something that has risen or fallen dramatically/sharply begins to increase or decrease more gradually or slower. It is commonly used in business English. It is an intransitive phrasal verb (it isn't followed by an object), e.g. 'it levelled off'. In Spanish: "estabilizarse".

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Levelled off:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3. In March, the number of visits reached its            

Lowest point:
(noun) 'lowest point' is used to mean the lowest value that something obtains in a chart or table. It is normally used with the verb 'to reach', e.g. 'In 2005, unemployment reached its lowest point'. The opposite of 'lowest point', is 'highest point' or 'peak'. In Spanish: "el punto más bajo".

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Lowest point:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4. In April and May, the number of visits            

Recovered:
(verb) 'to recover' means that the value of an object/thing has increased and returned to around the value that it was before it decreased. This verb is normally used after big decreases/falls, e.g. 'The value of the stock market fell dramatically in the morning, but it recovered in the afternoon'. In the reverse of this situation (i.e. a big increase in the morning and a decrease in the afternoon), we use 'to fall back'. In Spanish: "recuperarse".

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Recovered:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. During June, the number of visits remained            

Constant:
(noun) 'constant' means that the value didn't change or stayed the same. It is often used with the verb 'to remain' or 'to be'. If you want to say what the value was or remained, then 'constant' is followed by the preposition 'at' and the value, e.g. 'the number of visits remained constant at 10,000'. In Spanish: "constante".

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Constant:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. During July and August, the number of visits            

Fluctuated:
(verb) 'to fluctuate' means that the value of an object goes up and down repeatedly over a period. When you want to say what the maximum and minimum values were during a period of fluctuation, you use 'fluctuate' + between + minimum value + and + maximum value, e.g. 'during summer the temperature fluctuated between 15 and 32 degrees centigrade'. In Spanish: "fluctuar".

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Fluctuated:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. In September, the number of visits            

Settled down:
(phrasal verb) 'to settle down'. This phrasal verb is used after a period of fluctuation (where a value of an object has gone up and down repeatedly) to mean that the value is more constant and is changing less. It is an intransitive phrasal verb (it isn't followed by an object), e.g. 'after the rises and falls, the price of corn finally settled down'. In Spanish: "estabilizar".

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Settled down:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8. But in October, the number of visits            

Soared:
(verb) 'to soar' has the same meaning as 'to rocket' or 'to increase dramatically'. When you want to say the quantity of the rise, the verb is followed by the preposition 'by' and the number, e.g. 'it soared by 21,000'. When you want to say what value it finally reached, the verb is followed by the preposition 'to', e.g. 'the euro soared to $1.66'. In Spanish: "dispararse".

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Soared:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9. In November, the number of visits            

Peaked:
(verb) 'to peak' means that an object's value reaches its 'highest point' or 'peak'. If you want to say what that value was, the verb is followed by the preposition 'at' and the value, e.g. 'the cost peaked at $2.45 per unit'. The opposite is 'to reach its lowest point'. In Spanish: "alcanzar su nivel más alto".

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Peaked:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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10. In December, the number of visits            

Fell back:
(phrasal verb) 'to fall back' means that the value of an object has decreased and returned to around the value it was before it increased. This verb is normally used after big increases/rises, e.g. 'the value of the stock market increased dramatically in the morning, but it fell back in the afternoon'. In the reverse of this situation (i.e. a big decrease in the morning and an increase in the afternoon), we use 'to recover'. It is an intransitive phrasal verb (it isn't followed by an object), e.g. 'the price fell back'. In Spanish: "bajar".

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Fell back:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.