I am wondering if this sentence sounds natural to a native speaker "We augment SOMETHING by 2% to 23K." ?

I have already assumed it sounds natural to use increase and raise in this case. Is it a correct assumption?

The other question is which set of verbs implies the negative of the above template? I thought of lessen, lower and decrease.

  • 2
    It's not wrong, per se, but you're right that it does sound off (unidiomatic) to a native speaker. That's probably essentially because "increase by" is almost an automatic phrase.
    – Dan Bron
    May 29, 2015 at 0:03
  • 2
    To augment , say, a salary by by 2%, implies that a special rule applies, or that there were special considerations. You couldn't augment a price; but you could augment a charge, again if circumstances demanded it. This is probably by analogy from a legal term.
    – Hugh
    May 29, 2015 at 0:26
  • "we increased the pressure by x% to N millibars" or "We increased the concentration of Y by x% to N ppm" or "By adding chocolate chips, we increased the calorie content of the cookie by 5% to 200 calories". In none of those sentences would one say augment. (I plucked the numbers out of thin air.) You might say "To augment the nutritional value of he cookie while preserving its taste, we will hqve to make several major changed in the recipe.' Hope these examples help.
    – ab2
    Aug 10, 2015 at 3:56

1 Answer 1


The meaning is perfectly clear in your example sentence, and seems to be a proper use of the word.

I'm a little more used to seeing the verb "increase" instead of "augment" in that position, seeing "augment" more commonly where the A used to augment B is a different noun than B.

Merriam-Webster lists antonyms as: abate, decrease, de-escalate, diminish, downsize, dwindle, lessen, lower, minify, reduce, subtract (from).

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