‘Rise’ and ‘raise’ look and sound similar but cause lots of problems.
By the end of this lesson, you will
- understand the differences between ‘rise’ and ‘raise’ (meaning, grammar, pronunciation and usage)
- be able to use them specifically, with precise collocations, to describe Academic IELTS Task 1 graphs (Language of change) and more generally in Speaking and Writing Task 2.
Scroll down for the ‘Test Yourself’ Quiz.
Practise the pronunciation here.
What is the difference in meaning between the two statements below?
- ‘Prices rise every year’.
- ‘I raise my prices every year.’
- The price increases/goes up by itself (e.g. due to inflation, shortages, increased demand etc).
- I do the action. I increase the prices. I put the prices up.
*‘go up’ and ‘put up’are informal versions of ‘rise’ and ‘raise’.
The meaning of rise/raise
RISE = when something goes up by itself e.g. The sun rises. 🌅
‘rise’ is an intransitive verb. It does not need an object.
The sun (SUBJECT) + rises (VERB).
RAISE needs an OBJECT e.g. I raise my hand.
I (SUBJECT) + raise (VERB) + my hand (OBJECT).
‘raise’ is a transitive verb.
The GRAMMAR of rise/raise
Look what happens in the different tenses:
PRESENT: Prices rise. I raise prices.
PAST: Prices rose. I raised prices.
PERFECT: Prices have risen. I have raised prices.
- RISE is irregular (rise – rose – risen)
- RAISE is regular (-ed Past Forms)
When describing increases, notice the difference in the use of prepositions:
- Prices rose by 20% (from $10 to $30)
- Prices rose to $30.
- There was a rise of 20%.
The NOUN forms of rise/raise
- There was a significant rise in prices.
- Profits went up to $10 million, a rise of 20%.
- Global action would help to slow the rise in sea-levels.
- The government could support NHS workers by giving them a pay rise.
‘RISE’ is the noun form of both ‘rise‘ and ‘raise*‘.
Collocations for the NOUN ‘rise’
When you’re describing changes on a graph/bar chart (Writing Task 1) or talking about general changes (Speaking, Writing Task 2), use adjectives to describe them more precisely.
e.g. ‘There was a [significant] increase in sales’.
- big, considerable, dramatic, exponential, large, marked, significant, substantial, [huge, massive = less formal]
- moderate, modest, small, slight
- rapid, sharp
- gradual, steady
- fivefold, tenfold etc
Collocations for the VERB ‘rise’
e.g. ‘Prices rose [significantly]‘.
bigly,considerably, dramatically, exponentially, largelyby a large amount, markedly, significantly, substantially, [ huge,massively = less formal]
- moderately, modestly, by a small amount, slightly
- rapidly, sharply
- gradually, steadily
- fivefold, tenfold etc
Common mistakes with rise/raise
These two words are easily confused when describing Bar Charts/Graphs in Academic IELTS Task 1 and Task 2.
Can you correct these?
- ‘Sea-levels have
- ‘As the water heats up, the steam
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