Describing Line Graphs (2)

Look at the following simple line graph:

Simple Graph

It shows the population of Hungary from 1996 to 2007. You can see that in 1996 the population was more than 10.3 million and that by the year 2007 it had fallen to just over 10.05 million.

What change is shown by this graph? In this case we can see that the population of Hungary decreased from 1996 to 2007.

Also in this graph the line is fairly smooth, so we can say that the population decreased steadily.

How big was the change in population? The population in 1996 was 10.32 million and in 2007 it was 10.07 million. So there was a decrease of 0.25 million or 250,000 people.

To write a short description of this graph ask yourself (and answer!) the following questions:

  1. What exactly does the graph show? (Use the chart title to help you answer this question)
  2. What are the axes and what are the units?
  3. What changed?
  4. How much did it change?

Answering these questions will help you to write a short description of this simple graph.

Here is an example:

This graph shows population change in Hungary from 1996 to 2007. Hungary's population fell steadily from 10.32 million in 1996 to 10.07 million in 2007, a decrease of 250,000 people.


Other words you can use instead of fell or decreased are declined, dropped and went down .

Adverbs you can use with these words are:

How much?
sharply, heavily, slightly, steadily, dramatically, significantly, considerably, quickly, rapidly, steeply, gradually, gently, substantially, precipitately, fractionally, drastically, marginally, markedly, progressively, continuously by X% (by X per cent), by X (units), from X to Y, tenfold, fourfold ...
significantly, markedly, slightly, steadily, rapidly, considerably, continuously, dramatically,

by X% (by X per cent), by X (units), from X to Y, tenfold, fourfold ...

sharply, rapidly, dramatically, steadily, slightly, markedly, significantly, considerably, steeply, drastically, continuously, substantially, quickly by X% (by X per cent), by X (units), from X to Y
dramatically, sharply, slightly, considerably, steadily, significantly, rapidly, drastically, alarmingly, noticeably, markedly, radically, abruptly, substantially, gradually, gently, slowly by X% (by X per cent), by X (units), from X to Y
went down
The above adverbs are not usually used with "went down ". by X% (by X per cent), by X (units), from X to Y


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