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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 1st, 2016, 06:30 pm
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Join Date: Jun 1st, 2016
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Default How to use the verb, to regress?

Hi everyone! I am a new forum member. I have recently learned a new word, to regress.

Longman Dictionary states that to regress means to go back to an earlier and worse condition.

I would like to use it in two examples.

(1) Last year, Joe worked very hard to improve his grade average from a C to a B standing. This year, he is regressing to the lower grade average because he is not working as hard.

(2) The number of goals John's soccer team scores varies from ten to ninety per season. Based on the game results in the first three months, he thinks his team will regress to an unsatisfactory performance.

Am I using the word, to regress, correctly? Thank you very much for your help.

Last edited by susan53 : Jun 2nd, 2016 at 08:59 am.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 2nd, 2016, 09:19 am
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: How to use the verb, to regress?

The meaning is fine - the problem is style. regress is a fairly formal word whereas your examples are written in fairly neutral style. go back would therefore be more likely, or possibly revert

Here are some examples of regressed used in authentic texts, all of them from academic corrpora :
  • Nodular agyrophil cells were not stable phenomena: nodular hyperplasias REGRESSED in five patients, remained similar in six, and progressed... in one.
  • Groups easily REGRESS to primitive mental activity of a kind ascribed to the primal horde...
  • ... the danger of REGRESSING to a simplistic reading of texts which simply locates their meanings in the author's life story.

As you can see, they're all from texts written in formal academic style. I couldn't find any examples at all in corpora of "ordinary" written or spoken English.
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