Upward trends

1. To increase
2. To make something increase
3. An increase
4. When something does not increase, or stops increasing

1. To increase
increase verb [intransitive] to become larger in number, amount, price, or value:
• Last year, the number of burglaries increased by 15 percent.
• The percentage of households with a computer increased from 32.9% to 52%.
• The world’s population is increasing at a rate of 91 million people each year.
• Land prices have increased dramatically during the last thirty years. (=by a surprisingly large amount)
• The ratio of women to men in management positions has been increasing steadily. (=more women are becoming managers)
rise / go up verb [intransitive] phrasal verb to increase. Rise and go up are used especially about numbers, prices or temperatures. They can also be used about the level or standard of something:
• Fuel prices rose by over 10 percent.
• Last month unemployment went up from 1.6 million to just over 1.7 million.
• Crime rates have risen sharply in inner city areas. (=they have increased by a large amount in a short time)
• World demand for oil is rising steadily at around 2 percent a year.
• Sea temperatures have been rising gradually over the past 30 years.
• Living standards have gone up dramatically. (=by a surprisingly large amount)
Rise is more formal than go up.
If you want to say that something ‘has increased’, you can say that it is up, for example:
Profits are up by almost 50%.
grow verb [intransitive] to increase, especially gradually over a period of time. Grow is used about numbers or amounts, or about the total amount of business or trade:
• The volume of traffic on our roads continues to grow.
• The economy is growing by about 2.5% a year.
• Since 1990, U.S. imports of foreign goods have grown at a rate of 7.7 percent per year.
double / triple /quadruple verb [intransitive] to become twice as much, three times as much, or four times as much:
• Since 1950, the number of people dying from cancer has almost doubled.
• During the last 15 years, earnings have tripled for men and doubled for women.
• The production of maize quadrupled.
expand verb [intransitive] to become larger in size, or to include a wider range of activities:
• After two years of no growth, the economy started to expand again in 2003.
• The report estimates that up to 40,000 plants could die out if the population expands from 6 billion to 8 billion by 2020, as currently predicted.
soar verb [intransitive] to increase and reach a very high level. Soar is used about numbers and amounts, or about people’s feelings and attitudes, and is especially used in journalism:
• Interest rates soared to over 100 percent.
• The rumours sent house prices soaring. (=made them increase to a very high level)
• The president’s popularity soared. (=he became extremely popular)
escalate verb [intransitive] to increase to a high level. Escalate is used about things that you do not want to increase such as costs, crimes, or violence:
• Energy costs have escalated.
• The violence began to escalate and the demonstrators started attacking the police.
The -ing forms of many of these verbs can also be used as adjectives, for example: the increasing demand for cheap goods
• rising unemployment
• the growing problem of industrial pollution
• soaring inflation
• escalating fuel costs

2. To make something increase
increase verb [transitive] to make something become larger in number, amount, price, or value:
• The company wants to increase the number of phones it sells in the UK.
• Smoking increases the risk of a heart attack by almost ten times.
raise verb [transitive] to increase prices, taxes, rents etc. Raise is also used about increasing levels and standards:
• The government will either have to raise taxes or reduce spending.
• The price of a barrel of oil was raised to over $30.
• The government says that it wants to raise standards in schools.
• Saturated fats, which are found mostly in animal products, raise the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Don’t confuse rise and raise. Don’t say ‘I don’t think it would be a good idea to rise cigarette prices’. Say: I don’t think it would be a good idea to raise cigarette prices.
Raise is more formal than put up.
put up phrasal verb to increase prices, taxes, rents etc:
• The company plans to put up the price of the drug by up to 20 percent.
• In the long term, unless the economy recovers, the government will be forced to put up taxes.
double / triple / quadruple verb [transitive] to increase the amount of something so that it is twice, three times, or four times as much:
• The United States has more than doubled the amount of aid it gives to developing countries.
• The company hopes to triple the size of its packaging business.
expand verb [transitive] to increase something so that it includes a wider range of things, or to increase the size of a business:
• The college is expanding its range of courses.
• Within a few months she expanded the business and took over a computer firm employing 120 people.
boost verb [transitive] to increase sales, profits, or the production of something, especially when they have been lower than you want them to be:
• Farmers can boost their profits by selling direct to customers.
• The hot weather has boosted sales of ice cream.
• Scientists are helping to boost rice production using genetically modified rice.
extend verb [transitive] to increase your power or influence, or to increase the number of things that you are involved in:
• The US wants to extend its influence in the region.
• Banks are extending the scope of their activities and are offering services such as insurance and advice on investments.
step up phrasal verb to increase your efforts or activities, especially in order to change a situation:
• The UN Security Council has stepped up the pressure on the Sudanese government to end the fighting.
• The organization is stepping up its campaign to persuade drivers to leave their cars at home and take public transport.
add to phrasal verb to cause something to increase in cost or value, or to cause a situation to become worse or more difficult:
• Rising fuel prices will add to the cost of basic goods.
• A new kitchen can add to the value of your home.
• The swarms of mosquitoes only added to their problems.
• Just to add to the confusion, there are several other common names for this plant.

3. An increase
increase noun [uncountable and countable] an occasion when the amount or number of something becomes bigger:
• There has been a significant increase in the number of people living alone.
• England’s countryside is under threat from a massive increase in (=a very big increase) traffic.
• Profits rose by $2million. This represents an increase of 13.4 per cent compared to the previous year.
The usual preposition to use with increase is in. Don’t say ‘the increase of the earth’s temperature’. Say: the increase in the earth’s temperature. You use of with numbers, for example: an increase of 15%.
growth noun [singular, uncountable] an increase in the number, size, or importance of something. Growth is also used when saying that a company or a country’s economy becomes more successful:
• There has been a huge growth in sales of big 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
• Many people are concerned about the enormous growth in the world’s population.
• The astonishing growth of the Internet has had a dramatic effect on people’s lives.
• Japan experienced a period of rapid economic growth.
rise noun [countable] an increase in the amount of something, or in the standard or level of something:
• The latest figures show a sharp rise (=a sudden big rise) in unemployment in the region.
• There was a 34 percent rise in the number of armed robberies.
• The majority of families experienced a rise in living standards.
• The instruments showed a dramatic rise (=a surprisingly large increase) in the level of radioactivity. Something was clearly going wrong.
In American English, a raise is an increase in someone’s salary. In British English, this is usually referred to as a pay rise.
build-up noun [countable usually singular] a gradual increase in something harmful, dangerous, or worrying:
• The use of fossil fuels is causing a build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which contributes to the greenhouse effect.
• She had a build-up of fluid on her knee.
• The crisis led to a big military build-up. (=the size of the army was greatly increased, especially in preparation for war)
surge noun [countable usually singular] a sudden increase in something such as profits, demand, or interest:
• There has been a big surge in demand for organically grown food.
• We have seen a tremendous surge of interest in Chinese medicine.
explosion noun [countable] a sudden very large increase in the amount or number of something:
• The country experienced a population explosion.
• There has been an explosion in the number of fast food restaurants.
• The book caused an explosion of interest in Renaissance Italy.
boom noun [singular] a sudden large increase in trade, profits or sales, with the result that a country, company, or industry becomes very successful.
Boom is also used about a sudden increase in interest in something, with the result that it becomes very popular:
• the German economic boom of the 1960s
• the internet boom
• There has been a boom in sales of diet books and videos.

4. When something does not increase, or stops increasing
remain constant/stay the same to continue to be at the same level or rate and not change:
• Her rate of breathing remained constant.
• The deer population has remained constant for many years.
• His weight stayed the same.
Remain constant is more formal than stay the same.
peak / reach a peak verb to stop increasing, after reaching a high level:
• Inflation peaked at 25%.
• The number of cases of the disease reached its peak.
level off / out phrasal verb to stop increasing, and remain at the same level:
• Car sales in Japan levelled off in September after months of continued growth.
• Statistics show that the number of work-related deaths appears to be levelling off at 1.6 per 100,000 employees.

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