# General Function 7. Describing quantities

# Describing quantities

The language for writing about quantities can be a complex area for non-native speakers because there are many combinations of short grammar words, such as prepositions and pronouns, and these can easily be confused. Many of the phrases given below also contain approximators such as: *nearly, approximately, over half, less than, just over*.

##### Describing fractions

*Over half of those* surveyed indicated that …*Nearly half of *the respondents (48%) agreed that …*Approximately half of those *surveyed did not comment on …

*those who responded (32%) indicated that …*

Less than a third of

Less than a third of

The number of first marriages in the United Kingdom fell

*by nearly two-fifths.*

Of the 148 patients who completed the questionnaire,

*just over half*indicated that …

Well over More than Just over Many more than Around Just under | half a third a quarter | of those surveyed of the respondents of those who responded | agreed that … |

##### Describing proportions

Singapore has *the highest proportion* of millionaire households.

The annual birth rate dropped from 44.4 to 38.6 per 1000 per annum.*The proportion of* live births outside marriage reached *one in ten* in 1945.

Scotland had *the lowest proportion* of lone parents at only 14 per cent.*The proportion of the population* attending emergency departments was 65% higher in X than …

##### Describing percentages

*70% of those who* were interviewed indicated that …

Since 1981, England has experienced an *89% increase* in crime.

The response rate was *60% at six months* and 56% at 12 months.

In 1960 *just over 5%* of live births in 1960 were outside marriage.

Returned surveys from 34 radiologists yielded *a 34% response rate*.

He also noted that *fewer than 10% of* the articles included in his study cited …

With each year of advancing age, the probability of having X *increased by 9.6%* (p = 0.006).

The mean income of *the bottom 20 percent *of U.S. families declined from $10,716 in 1970 to …

X found that of 2,500 abortions, 58% were in young women aged 15-24, *of whom 62%* were …

Well over More than Just over Many more than Around Just under | 40% 50% 80% | of those surveyed of the respondents of those who responded | agreed that … |

##### Describing averages

*The average of *12 observations in the X, Y and Z is 19.2 mgs/m …

This figure can be seen as the *average* *life expectancy* at various ages.

The proposed model suggests a steep decline *in **mean **life expectancy* …

Roman slaves probably had a *lower than average* *life expectancy*.*The mean age of Xs with *coronary atherosclerosis was 48.3 ± 6.3 years.*Mean estimated age at death* was 38.1 ± 12.0 years (ranging from 10 to 60+ years)*The mean score *for X was subjected to multivariate analysis of variance to determine …*The mean income* of the bottom 20 percent of U.S. families declined from $10,716 in 1970 to …

##### Describing ranges

Estimates of X range from 200,000 to 700,000 and up to a million or more.

The respondents had practised for an average of 15 years (range 6 to 35 years).

The participants were aged 19 to 25 and were from both rural and urban backgrounds.

Rates of decline ranged from 2.71– 0.08 cms per day with a mean of 0.97 cms per day.

They calculated ranges of journal use from 10.7%–36.4% for the humanities, 25%–57% for …

The evidence shows that life expectancy from birth lies in the range of twenty to thirty years.

At between 575 and 590 metres depth, the sea floor is extremely flat, with an average slope of …

The mean income of the bottom 20 percent of U.S. families declined from $10,716 to $9,833.