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Friday Takeaways

‘double’, ‘twice’, ‘twofold’ and ‘half’

How can you paraphrase the following sentence?

The price of oil went from £10 a barrel in 1980 to £20 a barrel in 1990.

Check your answer here

1. The price of oil doubled between 1980 and 1990. (verb)

2. The price of oil in 1990 was double that of 1980. (adjective)

Twofold

3. The price of oil in 1990 was twofold that of 1980. (adjective)

4. There was a twofold increase in the price of oil. (adjective)

Twice as much* (uncountable)

4. The price of oil in 1990 was twice as much as it was in 1980.

5. Oil cost twice as much in 1990 as it did in 1980.

*Twice as MANY is used for countable nouns e.g.

Twice as many barrels of oil were sold in 1980 as in 1990.

There were twice as many barrels sold in 1980 compared with 1990.

Things to watch out for

DYNAMIC charts (changes over time)

It’s safer to use the verb:

‘The Wifi cafe’s income doubled between June and January’.

Also possible:

‘The Wifi cafe’s income in June was double/twice that of January’.

‘The Wifi cafe earned twice as much in June compared with January’.

‘The Wifi cafe’s income increased twofold‘.

There was a twofold increase in the Wifi cafe’s income’.

Static charts (no changes, just comparisons)

*In the over-75 age group, the poor women were more than doubled than men. 

Correct

  • …the number of poor women was more than double/twice that of men.
  • there were more than twice as many poor women as men.
new york cafes

Static charts (no changes)

It’s probably safer to use ‘twice as much/many’:

‘People in Sydney bought almost twice as much fresh coffee as those in Brisbane’.

Coffee bar chart

‘half’

What’s wrong with this sentence?

During the winter, monthly gym attendance was 550, almost half less than in the summertime.

Options

  • During the winter, monthly gym attendance was 550, almost half that of the summertime.
  • During the winter, 550 people went to the gym, almost half as many people as in the summertime.

Can you correct this sentence?

Three European countries produced an average 550 billion kWh of electricity,  which is almost halved* that of Russia’s.

Answer

Three European countries produced an average 550 billion kWh of electricity,  which is almost half that of Russia’s.

Extra Practice

Check out the full lesson about comparisons here (Day 15).

It includes extra practice with ‘twice as much/many’.

Check out the full lesson about dynamic charts (The Language of Change) here (Day 4).

Get all the Friday Takeaway Tips here

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