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Thread: Graph & table description languages

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    Default Graph & table description languages


    I. Introduction:

    Type of chart (Subjects) Main verbs Object/ Noun clause
    The chart
    the number of …
    the proportion of …
    information on …
    data on …
    that …
    The figures
    the number of …
    the proportion of …
    information on …
    data on …
    that …

    Eg 1 The chart shows the changes which took place in student spending in the United Kingdom during the three- year period from 1996 to 1999

    Eg 2 The graph shows changes in the amount of fresh fruit, sugar and ice-cream eaten per person per week in Britain between 1975 and 2000

    Eg 3 The two - line graphs show trends in smoking and alcohol consumption since 1960 for several countries

    Eg 4 The graphs show changes in the popularity of three different activities in a UK sports club over a period of 2 years

    Eg 5 The graph reveals information on the top ten date - producing countries in the year 2001 . Each unit is measured in tones

    Eg 6 The graph reveals information on how age influences the use of the Internet among people in a typical country between 1998 and 2000. Each unit is measured in percent.

    Eg 7 The graph shows changes in the amount of chicken and beef eaten in the USA over the last 50 years. Overall, beef consumption is declining, while Americans are eating more and more chicken.

    Eg 8 The graphs reveal information on the types of gifts that people in the USA buy for each other on Valentine’s day.

    Eg 9 The pie charts reveal information on the hours spent on 6 subjects including Engineering, computers, physics, math, English and chemistry by a student in two difference levels

    Eg 10 The graph shows the fluctuation in the number of people at a London underground station over the course of a day.

    II. Time expression (horizontal axes): line graph & bar chart with time period

    1. In:
    - In 1999...
    - In the 20th century...
    - In the first ten years...
    - In 1999 there was a significant increase in production

    2. For:
    - For the first six months...
    - For twenty years...
    - For the first six months the number of employees remained the same.

    3. During:
    - During the first six months...
    - During the remainder of the year...
    - During the first half of this century...
    - During the first six months production was slowing down , while imports increased.

    4. Between:
    - Between 1950 and 1960...
    - Between 1950 and 1960 there was no change in the rate of fuel consumption

    5. Before / After:
    - Before 1960 the number remained small but after 1965 there was a sudden increase.

    6. From – to / until:
    - From August to / until November...
    - From 1950 to 1960...
    - From 1950 to 1960 there was no change in energy use.

    7. Around / About:
    - Around / about 1980 there was a change in the number of female part-time employee

    8. By:
    - By the late 19th century the rural workforce had declined significantly

    9. At:
    - At the end of the last century there was a sharp increase in manufacturing

    10. Since:
    - Since the 19th century there has been a steady decline.

    III. Data description:

    1. Grouping information:

    Possible groups are
    - Top: Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, and Denmark (about 40 users per hundred)
    - Group 2: Germany, Austria, UK (about 20 to 25 users per hundred)
    - Group 3: Ireland, Belgium, France and Italy (14-16 users)
    - Group 4: Spain, Portugal, Greece (less than 10% Internet use)

    2. Pointing out the source:

    According to the
    As shown in the
    As can be seen/illustrated from the
    N/A N/A
    It can be seen
    We can see
    It is clear/apparent
    from the table/chart
    that …
    As the table
    show N/A
    From the table
    It is clear N/A

    3. Measurement:

    3.1 Proportion: especially for Pie chart, Bar graph without time period

    - Proportion of
    A part of a number or amount, considered in relation to the whole
    The proportion of women graduates has increased in recent years.
    Every parent is asked to contribute a proportion of the total cost.

    - High/large/small etc proportion
    The decision affects a significant proportion of the population.
    Although the majority of offenders are men, a small proportion - about 5 percent - are women.

    - Proportion of
    The relationship between two things in
    Size, amount, importance etc the proportion of something to something What’s the proportion of boys to girls in your class?

    - Describing proportion:
    ¾: three quarters = 75 percent = three out of four
    48%: almost half = nearly half = just under one half = close to one half
    1/3: one third = one in three = 33 percent
    26%: about one in four = just over a quarter

    - Adjective – noun collocations to describe proportions:
    Very big: vast/overwhelming majority
    Very big (used before number): massive/hefty 85 %
    Very small: tiny minority
    Not very big (used before numbers): modest/mere 12%

    3.2 The maximum:

    - The maximum number or amount is the largest number or amount that is possible, normal, or allowed
    After leaving Calais, the train soon reaches its maximum speed of 300 kph.
    Forty is the maximum number of passengers this bus is allowed to carry.
    Ditikins faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

    - The maximum
    You don't have to wait long for a new passport - 3 weeks is about the maximum.

    - A maximum of £10/50%/30 degrees etc
    Individuals may donate a maximum of $1000 to the

    3.3 The minimum:

    - The smallest possible number or amount of something or the smallest number or amount that is allowed
    The minimum salary for this post is $25,000.
    We need a minimum number of two staff members on duty at lunchtime.

    - Minimum height/length/age/wage etc
    These workers are being paid less than the minimum wage.
    The minimum age at which you can legally buy tobacco is 18.

    - Reduce/keep something to a minimum (= make the amount or number of something as small as possible)
    Interruptions should be kept to a minimum.
    The library book stock has already been reduced to a minimum

    3.4 Percent/ Percentage:

    - Percent & percentage
    5 % (percent)
    100 %( percent)

    - Percentage
    An amount expressed as if it is part of a total which is 100
    The percentage of school leavers that go to university is about five per cent.
    Tax is paid as a percentage of total income.

    - High/low/small percentage
    A high percentage of married women have part-time jobs.

    3.5 Quantity:

    - Use this, especially in written descriptions or instructions, to talk about amounts of food, liquid, or other substances that can be measured

    - Quantity of
    Make sure that you add the correct quantity of water.
    Use equal quantities of flour and butter.

    - A large/small/enormous etc quantity

    - An enormous quantity of chemical waste has been dumped in the river.
    in large/small quantities

    Expensive spices, like saffron, are only produced in small quantities.
    The total quantity

    3.6 Figure:

    - Refers to the actual number itself, not the thing that the number refers to
    While the number of Internet users was only 2.6 million in 1990, this figure has more than doubled in the last 3 year

    3.7 Range:

    - If prices, levels, temperatures etc range from one amount to another amount, they include both these amounts and anything in between
    Prices range from $10 to $500,000.
    Levels of disability may range from very slight hearing problems to total deafness.

    3.8 Rate:

    - A quantity such as value , cost, or speed , measured by its relation to some other amount
    Refugees were crossing the border
    At the rate of 1000 a day.

    - Success/failure rate
    Penicillin has a high success rate in treating bacterial infections.

    - Birth/unemployment/crime / divorce etc rate
    Australia's unemployment rate rose to 6.5% in February.

    - High/low rate of something

    - Rate of
    The speed at which something happens over a period of time
    An attempt to slow down the rate of economic growth

    - At (a) ... rate
    Children learn at different rates.
    Our money was running out at an alarming rate.

    - At a rate of something
    Iceland is getting wider at a rate of about 0.5 cm per year.

    3.9 Level:

    - The amount or degree of something, compared to another amount or degree
    Increased supplies are needed to meet the level of demand.

    - High/low level
    Inflation dropped to its lowest level in 30 years.
    At the moment, public interest is at a high level.

    - Water/oil etc level
    (= the height of the water etc from the ground or the bottom of a container)

    3.10 Degree:

    - To a certain extent/degree
    (= partly, but not completely)
    I do agree with his ideas to a certain extent.

    - Degree of
    The level or amount of something
    1960s Britain was characterized by a greater degree of freedom than before.
    Newspapers vary in the degree to which they emphasize propaganda rather than information.

    - By degrees
    Very slowly [= gradually]:
    By degrees, Huy forced himself into a sitting position.

    3.11 Extent:

    - How large, important, or serious something is, especially something such as a problem or injury
    Considering the extent of his injuries, he's lucky to be alive.
    It's too early to assess the full extent of the damage.

    3.12 Scale:

    - Scale of
    We had underestimated the scale of the problem.

    - On a large/small/grand etc scale
    There has been housing development on a massive scale since 1980.
    Most alternative technologies work best on a small scale.
    A structural survey revealed the full scale of the damage.
    I was shocked by the sheer scale (= very big scale) of the destruction.

    - On a global/international/world scale
    Pollution could cause changes to weather patterns on a global scale.
    Large firms benefit from economies of scale (= ways of saving money because they are big).

    3.13 Ratio:

    - A relationship between two amounts, represented by a pair of numbers showing how much bigger one amount is than the other
    The ratio of something to something
    The ratio of nursing staff to doctors is 2:1.

    - Ratio between
    The ratio between profits and incomes

    4. Mathematical expression: line graph & bar graph with time period

    4.1 Trebled,-fold, and times:
    - The number doubled between 1992 and 1994.
    - The number trebled between 1994 and 1996.
    - The number quadrupled from 1996 to 1998
    - There was a twofold increase between 1992 and 1994.
    - The number went up six fold between 1992 and 1996.
    - The figure in 1996 was three times the 1992 figure.
    - The figure in 1998 was four times the 1996 figure

    4.2 Fractions:
    - Between 1992 and 1994, the figure fell by one-fifth.
    - Between 1992 and 1994, the figure fell by two-fifths.
    - Between 1994 and 1996, the number dropped by a half.
    - The figure in 1998 was one-tenth the 1992 total.

    5. Prediction: line graph & bar graph with time period

    - Occasionally a graph showing trends predicts what may happen in future. In that case you cannot say that something will happen, only that it mayor could.

    - The most common expressions for discussing possible

    Future trends are:

    It is predicted / forecast / expected / suggested / estimated/ projected/ anticipated/ calculated/ assumed that …

    Likely / probable that...
    If these are used, then the future tense should also be used, rather than mayor could because the combination would be too weak. In other words, “It is predicted that the population may increase to 6 billion “ is too uncertain, and should be written as: It is predicted that the population will increase to 6 billion.

    - An increase in the population to 6 billion is expected.

    6. Approximation:

    - Over: over 20%
    - Under: under 5000
    - Just over/ under: just over 50 000 people, three quarters (76%), a quarter (24%)
    - Exactly: exactly a half (50%)
    - Nearly: nearly ten thousand (9998)
    - Around / about: around / about 50%, five hundred (497 – 503)
    - Approximately/roughly: approximately 25%, a third (34%)
    - Slightly: slightly more than half; slightly over 40%
    - Marginally: a marginally smaller percentage
    - Close to: close to half
    - Almost: almost exactly twice as many, almost all (99%)

    7. Comparing & Contrasting: especially for Pie chart, Bar graph and Table

    7.1 One syllable:




    7.2 Two syllables:



    More striking
    More common
    Most striking
    Most common


    Clever More clever
    Most clever

    7.3 Three or more syllables:

    More attractive
    More profitable
    More expensive
    Most attractive
    More profitable
    Most expensive

    7.4 Describing one part of the chart

    v Starting with the adjective:
    - The highest percentage of women are employed in the X category
    - The greatest proportion of cars sold are red
    - The lowest number of holiday makers come from Spain
    - The most….
    - A significant….
    - The smallest….
    - The largest….

    v Starting with the subject:
    - Red is the most popular car color
    - Professional is second/third most prevalent employment category
    - Spain is the least holiday destination

    7.5 Comparative structures:

    As … as …
    Blue cars are
    Women are
    Spain is
    quite as
    just as
    nearly as
    almost as
    not as
    as …
    As many
    Twice as many
    Three times as many
    Not as many
    red cars
    holiday makers
    are sold
    are employed in X
    come from X
    More … than …
    Fewer … than …
    Less … than …
    Blue cars are
    Women are
    Spain is
    much more
    far more
    substantially more
    considerably more
    slightly more
    fractionally more
    much less
    far less
    considerably less
    fractionally less
    Far more
    Much more
    Many more
    A lot more
    Substantially more
    Considerably more
    Significantly more
    Slightly more
    Fractionally more
    red cars
    holiday makers
    are sold
    are employed in X
    come from X

    7.6 Adverb:

    nearly/practically as … as …

    7.7 Contrast:
    - However/Nevertheless
    - But/Yet
    - On the other hand
    - Unlike
    - While/Whereas/Although/Even though
    - As opposed to/ In contrast to/ Contrasted to/ In comparison with/compared to
    - Apart from
    - Except for
    8. Similarity:
    - Similarly
    - In the same way
    - Both… and …
    - Also
    - As … as …
    - Likewise
    - The same
    - As well as
    - Too
    - Just as x, (so) y …
    - Equally
    - In a similar way/fashion
    - Not only … but also
    - Like x, y…
    9. Quoting:
    9.1 Related Verbs:
    - Be: The number of unemployed was 10% of the population.
    - Be: The percentage of women in the workforce was higher than in the previous year.
    - Make up/constitute: Women made up / constituted a significant percentage of the workforce.
    - Amount to: Paper and cardboard amounted to 21% of the total household waste.
    - Stand: The population of Alia stood at 21 million at the turn of the century.
    - Account for: Fossil fuel emissions account for the majority of greenhouse gases.
    - Reach: The consumption of fossil fuels reached the highest levels in recent years.
    9.2 Parentheses( ), brackets or comma:
    - Europe, with the greatest consumption per head of cigarettes (over 2000) was...
    - The greatest proportion of electricity, 59%, was generated by oil
    9.3 The prepositions at and with:
    - By far the greatest proportion of electricity was generated by oil at 59%. Australia came next, with a total of 42,215 students.
    - Indonesia was responsible for about one third of that amount of rice production, at just over 46 million tones.
    - Between1920 and 1910 the business sector remained constant at around 10% of the workforce.
    9.4 Adjective clauses:
    Which + related verb (be/makeup/constitute/account for)
    - White, which is 53%, is considerably more common than grey, which makes up 11%
    - Black, which constitutes 26%, is about four times as popular as blue, which is 8%
    9.5 Participial phrases:
    - Between 1860 and 1900 the temperature remained steady, rising and falling by no more than 0.1 Centigrade.
    - The US had by far the greatest share of the information technology market, accounting for 44% of Internet connections.
    10. Preposition: at, in, with, within, between, by, for, to
    - Production rose at a rate of 20% per year / per annum / p.a.
    - Consumption stood at the same level in the following decade
    - The annual increase was in / within the range of 10% and 20% production increased / decreased by 20%
    - X was the largest producer, with 45% of the total production
    - The number remained steady at 300 for the next year.
    - Exports doubled, to reach 80% of imports in 1990
    - There were three times as many users as in the previous year
    - There was an increase of 10% in/for the level of participation
    - The pattern was reserved in/for the consumption of fuel in Japan
    - During the summer, temperatures fluctuate between 20 and 30 degrees.
    11. End point:
    - This year unemployment has risen to 10% (the end result is that unemployment is up to 10%).
    - This year there has been a rise in unemployment to 10%.
    - Notice the prepositions. We use to rise to (with the verb) and a rise in (with the noun)

    IV. Change expression: line graph & bar graph with time period
    1. Patterns:
    - Noun + Verb + Adverb
    - There + be + Adjective + Noun + in + Noun
    2. Words:

    Verb Noun
    (an upturn)
    To increase
    To rise
    To grow
    To go up/climb
    To recover/bounce back/rally
    An increase
    A rise
    A growth
    An upward trend
    An upturn
    To surge
    To jump
    To leap
    To boom
    To take off
    To shoot up
    To soar
    To rocket
    A surge/ an up surge
    A jump
    A leap
    A boom
    (a downturn)
    To decrease
    To fall (off)
    To decline
    To go down
    To reduce
    To dip/drop (very little)
    To slip
    To fall back to a previous level
    A decrease
    A fall
    A decline
    A downward trend
    A reduction
    A drop
    To plunge
    To crash
    To tumble
    To slump
    To plummet
    To sink
    A plunge
    A crash
    A tumble
    A slump

    To level off/ out (at)
    To stay at /maintain the same level
    To remain/ stay constant/stable/steady (at)
    To stagnate (negative meaning indicating stagnation is an undesired state)
    To stabilize (positive meaning used often after a period of fluctuation)
    To hold steady
    Do not change
    To flatten off
    To fluctuate (around)
    To vary
    Be erratic
    Be fitful
    To rise and fall erratically
    To peak (at)
    To reach a peak (of), a plateau (at)
    To top out
    To plateau (at)
    To stand at (focus on a particular point before mentioning the movement)
    To reach a low point
    To bottom out
    Adjective Adverb
    (3) dramatic
    (3) drastic
    (3) considerable
    (3) sharp
    (3) steep
    (3) great
    (2) remarkable
    (2) marked
    (2) significant
    (2) substantial
    (1) moderate
    (1) slight
    (1) small
    (1) marginal
    Significantly/not surprisingly
    (3) abrupt
    (3) sudden
    (3) rapid
    (2) quick
    (2) steady
    (1) gradual
    (1) slow

    Tổng hợp bởi Bác sĩ Hoàng Thanh Tùng
    Nội trú Mắt khóa 39, Đại học Y Hà Nội
    Last edited by Street Singer; 05-10-14 at 22:24.

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