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3.2 Graphs & Charts

Graphs & Charts

The English words for a drawing that shows information, particularly figures, in a simple, visual way are charts or graphs. Both words are used for several types of drawings, but ‘graph’ tends to be used when the information is shown using a line or lines, and ‘chart’ when the information is shown in other ways.

In this lesson we are going to work on the three most common types of charts and on the language associated with them, as you need to interpret graphs and charts in Part 3.

A graph is the most useful type of chart for showing something with figures that change a great deal over a period of time. Sets of figures are shown, each with its own line. The more lines there are, the more difficult it becomes to interpret the chart.

Which chart is most useful for showing a limited number of specific figures, and for comparing more than one set of figures? The answer would be a bar chart.

A pie chart shows percentages of a whole. The visual impact is to show the sizes of the segments in relation to each other.

In the Business English Space you can look at a video about the subject and you can also download a PDF with details.


Exercise 1.

Download the PDF below and do exercise 1. To check your answers, look at questions 1-3 in quiz 1.

Download the PDF “Bar Chart”

Exercise 2.

Answer questions in quiz 2

Exercise 3.

Do exercise 3 on the PDF and check your answers in Business English Space. Scroll down to “Exercise 3 – The Answers”

Exercise 4.

Do exercise 4 on the PDF and check your answers in Business English Space. Scroll down to “Exercise 4 – The Answers.”

Exercise 5, 6, and 7

Download the PDF “Charts” and do the exercises.

Check your answers in the Business English Space or alternatively check them by looking at the PDF “Charts – Answers)