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Other ways to say ups and downs in English

Life has its ups and downs. One day everything is good in your life and the next day it is not. In English, we use this phrase all of the time with our kids, colleagues and friends. That got me thinking about other ways to say UPS and DOWNS in English.

Other ways to say ups and downs in English


Learn UP English words:

RISE: Can be used in many situations when referring to an improvement.

The temperature will rise tomorrow from -1 to + 4 o C. The rise in house prices was not unexpected as demand outweighs the supply.

INCREASE: Again like rise we can use this word in multiple circumstances.

The increase in temperature is due they say to global warming. House prices will increase over the next few years as inflation picks up.

SURGE: Usually used when an increase is sudden (quick) and unexpected.

The water surged over the bank and quickly flooded the village.

ASCEND: Quite formal. We often use this when referring to elevators or lifts or stairs.

He ascended the stairs two at a time.

GAIN: Often used in business and finance to describe an improvement in profit, income or performance.

The shares gained over 2% in early trading. The company has gained a 20% share in the domestic market.

IMPROVE: A general word used in all circumstances to reflect an upturn in performance, your health or normal day to day activities.

The health of the nation has improved gradually in the last ten years.

The property has improved thanks to the new decoration.

Learn DOWN English words:

DESCEND: Formal word meaning the opposite of ascend.

He descended the stairs quickly as the lift was out of order.

DECREASE: The opposite to increase.

The decrease in the standard of living was clearly visible. More people relying on social welfare payments and more people unemployed.

FALL: This can be used in many situations. It will describe a downward movement.

He fell off the chair but was not hurt.

The fall in his income was dramatic.

Incidentally Americans refer to Autumn as the Fall!

PLUMMET: An opposite to surge. When something falls quickly and steeply we can use plummet.

The shares plummeted when the news broke that the company had lost a major government contract.

DROP: Similar to fall but cannot always be used in the same way (we cannot say he dropped off the chair!)

The drop in temperature was welcomed as it was easier to sleep at night.

We can often use these “up and down” words in phrases which give different meanings.

  • He fell in love with her instantly.
  • The contribution was a drop in the ocean as they needed so much more.

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