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01 / 06 / 2005

INCREASE vs. DECREASE: meaning and examples

Good morning. Yesterday we looked at the verbs grow (to increase in size, crecer) and grow up (to change from childhood to adulthood, criar). There are many different ways to indicate an increase in size and this week we will look at some verbs that express this concept (and the verb with the opposite meaning). TO INCREASE (the spoken stress is on the second syllable in-CREASE) It means: to get bigger. We usually use this verb to indicate that a specific amount (quantity) or number of something is getting bigger. For this reason, this word is used a lot when talking about finances. To say how much something has increased (with a specific amount), we use the preposition by. Example 1: The company's profits have increased by 20 percent this year. Example 2: The number of school-aged children in my town is increasing every year. However, the number of schools is not! TO DECREASE (again, the spoken stress is on the second syllable de-CREASE) It means: to get smaller. It is the opposite of increase, but we use it in the same way. Example 3: The director wants a proposal from each department on how to decrease costs by at least 10 percent. Example 4: I don't think that the price of housing will ever decrease in Barcelona, in spite of what the analysts say. Increase and decrease can also be nouns and we use them with the preposition in to say what has increased or decreased. NOTE: The pronunciation of the noun form is with the spoken-stress on the first syllable: IN-crease DE-crease Tomorrow we will look at some other synonyms for increase and decrease. If you have any questions about these words, please don't hesitate to contact us. Enjoy the rest of your day!


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