Saturday, November 6, 2010

Confusing words quiz - the verbs rise, raise and arise

These three verbs can be confusing for students both in meaning and form.

rise (rose, risen, rising)
to go / become higher
- irregular intransitive verb (doesn't take an object)
  • The sun rises in the east.
  • He rose through the ranks to become a general.

raise (raised, raised, raising)
to make higher, to increase, to bring up (children), to breed (animals)
- regular transitive verb (takes an object)
  • All those in favour raise your hands.
  • He was raised in Northern California but now lives in New York.

arise (arose, arisen, arising)
to happen, to occur, to come up
- irregular intransitive verb (doesn't take an object)
  • Some problems have arisen recently.
  • If any difficulties should arise, let me know.

Use the dictionary feature on the right to find more uses and examples. I recommend using one of the advanced learner's dictionaries for this. Then do the test.
Complete the sentences by typing the correct form of rise, raise or arise (one word only) into each box

1.The government are VAT (value added tax) to 20% next year.
2.An unexpected problem has and so we have had to cancel the meeting.
3.Suddenly the mist that had hidden the canyon and we had a most spectacular view.
4.Prices have again due to the recent increase in inflation.
5.Are there any matters from the minutes (written record) of the last meeting?
6.My parents are farmers and chickens and pigs.
7.I was born and on a farm, so I know all about animals.
8.She from her chair and went over to the window.
9.I would love to work in Africa should the opportunity .
10.University entry requirements have sharply over the last decade.
11.The directors have announced they are employee salaries across the board.
12.After a cold morning temperatures should in the afternoon.

The verbs rise and raise are often used when talking about statistics, prices etc. The opposites are fall and lower respectively.
  • Although the price of oil has risen, taxes on petrol have fallen.
  • They have raised the price of corn flakes but lowered the price of rice crispies.


Unknown said...

In the first sentence, should is be "The government is..." or "The government are..."? The government is made up of many individuals but is still only one group. A similar grey area occurs with words like police and staff.

Warsaw Will said...

Hi Z
Sorry, I've only just seen your comment. I'd been waiting for a comment about that one. It depends whether you use American or British English. In BrE we have a choice, and I think most of the time, we tend to use the plural. They are called group nouns, by the way, can take 'notional or situational' agreement, rather than grammatical agreement. The government / local council / committee / staff etc are doing something, but probably a new government has been elected. As you see staff would be in this category, but not police, which is always plural. My understanding is that Americans are not comfortable with this usage, and will generally use singular. But check this out from Washington State University. There's also an article inWikipedia which states that: 'Notional agreement for collective nouns is very common in British English. It is less customary in American English, but may sometimes be found after phrases of the type "a collective noun of plural nouns".' I think it's a classic case of 'You say tomatoes and I say tomatoes', if you know the song.

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