Expressions using Themes (e.g. Collocations, IELTS, Business English)

Vocabulary for Numbers and Figures

This page features some great expressions for working with numbers and discussing finance and figures in the workplace.


Often you will need to ask for information about a budget, expenses, or other statistical information. Here are some ways you can ask:

What are the latest figures for...?

Can we look at the figures for...?

Can we compare the numbers with...?

What is the difference between this year's amount compared to last year?

Do we have an estimate for...?

Is there any leeway in the budget for spending on...?

Is there a provision for spending on...?

How should we interpret these amounts?

Could we draw up a list of expenses?

Have we agreed on a budget for this?

Do we have any statistics for...?


When responding to requests for information, you might like to use the following useful phrases:

The most up-to-date figures are...

The numbers are slightly up from the last quarter/year

According to the accounts...

The last record shows that...

You can see from the graph...

The rate is...


You might also want to draw a comparison or comment on the trend of the numbers:

The figures are growing gradually

The number of x rises substantially

Orders remain at the same level

The numbers drop slightly

The figures show a significant change on the previous year

The number of sales crash

...are a great deal more than...

...fractionally less than...

Figures are approximately 10% higher than last year


Summarising difficult information is always helpful for those who don't have a head for numbers:

The bottom line is...

What these figures translate to is...

The action we now need to take is...

Overall, things are looking up...

We need to keep an eye on...

We should monitor...

What we need to be aware of is...


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