Talking About Numbers


In the previous 2 posts on trends we looked at how to make sentences using verbs, both transitive and intransitive (here), and also how to give more detailed information using either adjectives or adverbs, the magic 5 s’s (here).

 Today I want to look at another important area of trends, talking about numbers.

      Particularly in spoken English, very often you don’t want to, or can’t give an exact percentage or number. There are various expressions that we can use here. I always hear students using the word about.

      About 7%

      About 20 people

      About 40 Euros

      There is nothing wrong with “about”! It is great to talk about approximation, but there are alternatives, and ones that can give more information.


      • When we use a verb, the preposition is usually BY

        Between 2005 and 2019 Traffic congestion rose by almost 10% in central Madrid

      • When we use a noun the preposition is normally OF

        Last year there was a rise in university graduates of just over 10.000 students.


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