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Using Approximation

 

Graphs, charts and tables often give a large number of quite precise figures (1.54379, 53.25%, 100,001, etc.). You don't always need to give the same level of precision when you write your description. However, it is important to indicate that the figures you are giving are not exact. You can do this by using words such as approximately, about, just over, just under, etc.

 

If you want to indicate an approximate figure you can use:

 

about, roughly, approximately, around

 

Figure
Approximation
100,005
about one hundred thousand
60.04%
roughly sixty per cent
40.5°C
approximately 40 degrees Celsius
£502.02
around five hundred pounds

 

To indicate that a figure is less than your approximation you can use:

 

under, less than, below, almost

 

Qualifying Adverb
Adverb
Figure
Approximation
just, a little, slightly,
under
99,998

just under a hundred thousand

a little under a hundred thousand

slightly under a hundred thousand

slightly, a little, just, a bit,
less than
58.4 seconds

slightly less than a minute

a little less than a minute

just less than a minute

a bit less than a minute

just, slightly, marginally
below
9.7%

just below ten per cent

slightly below ten per cent

marginally below ten per cent

———
almost
€14.9bn
almost 15 billion Euros

 

To indicate that a figure is more than your approximation you can use:

 

over, more than, above

 

Qualifying Adverb
Adverb
Figure
Approximation
just, a little, slightly, not much,
over
100,008

just over one hundred thousand

a little over one hundred thousand

slightly over on hundred thousand

not much over one hundred thousand

a little, a bit, slightly, barely
more than
24 hours 6 minutes

a little more than twenty-four hours

a bit more than twenty-four hours

slightly more than twenty-four hours

barely more than twenty-four hours

just, a little, barely, marginally
above
32.1°F

just above thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit

a little over thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit

barely thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit

marginally above thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit

 

Other words your can use to indicate approximation are:

 

nearly, close to, approaching

 

Adverb
Figure
Approximation
nearly
99,998

nearly one hundred thousand

close to
9.8%

close to ten per cent

approaching
€14.7bn

approaching fifteen billion Euros

 

To indicate precision you can use:

 

precisely, exactly

 

Adverb
Figure
Approximation
precisely
32.1°F
precisely thirty-two point one degrees Fahrenheit
exactly
2.5 cm
exactly two point five centimetres

 

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