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Your English: Collocations: inflation

Type: Article

Keep up with rising inflation with Tim Bowen’s useful guide to collocations.

Inflation is defined as an economic process in which prices increase so money loses value. In general, low or moderate inflation is often regarded as a good thing because wages rising in step with such inflation can be seen as an incentive. On the other hand, high or double-digit inflation is seen as negative because it erodes the value of savings, pensions and other investments. 

There have been numerous instances in the past of accelerating or rising inflation and in many cases the rates of increase have been so rapid that the inflation concerned could be described as galloping, rampant or runaway. It may even be described as soaring or spiralling (out of control), as has been witnessed in the past when an ever-increasing number of noughts has been added to banknotes. 

A number of factors cause inflation and governments generally try to combat, control or curb it and keep it in check or keep it under control

If inflation outpaces wages, living standards tend to fall, while the reverse is true if wages outstrip inflation. Various factors such as commodity prices and transport costs fuel, increase or push up inflation, and governments employ different tactics to bring down or reduce inflation. At some point, the economic environment will probably ensure that the rate of inflation will ease or slow down and be in line with the government’s inflation target.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Hi Alison,

    Thanks for your feedback. That's a nice idea. I hope your class enjoyed the collocations and your activity.

    Best wishes,

    The onestopenglish team

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  • I added a little chart at the end for students to sort out the various expressions; verbs into up/down/controlling and adjectives; high risk/medium risk/ and low risk. E.g. verb up: accelerate. high risk adjective: spiralling.

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