Oct 7

To improve or to increase

TO IMPROVE = to get better
TO INCREASE = to get bigger 


  • Without doubt, the quality of life has improved for many: they have access to more nutritious food than previous generations and their accommodation tends to be better. They have more disposable income and suffer from fewer diseases. 

  • Scientists have suggested that global temperatures have increased significantly over the past few decades. It seems almost indisputable that this is a consequence of human activity.  

We can use the nouns AN IMPROVEMENT and AN INCREASE

  • There has been something of an improvement in the level of education. These days teachers use a range of methods and strategies and their pupils learn skills which are relevant to their future lives. 

  • There has been a worrying increase in the number of obese people in Europe over the past few years. It is estimated that a staggering thirty-five percent of adults are dangerously overweight. 

We can use IMPROVING to show that something is getting better and INCREASING to show that something is getting bigger: 

  • Thanks to the improving public transport network, fewer individuals now drive to work. Instead, many take the bus or commuter train. 

  • There is an increasing tendency for parents just to have one or two children. 

We can use IMPROVED to show that something has already got better and INCREASED to show that something has already got bigger:

  • Thanks to the improved understanding of disease, doctors are now able to cure many illnesses which would have resulted in death in the past. 

  • Largely due to our increased awareness of the dangers of cigarettes, the number of smokers has gone down. 
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