So I have a graph that depicts 3 lines. Each line represents a different level of consumption c. I am having trouble choosing the correct word to indicate the difference between the lines. My first attempt was the following.

Figure 1 shows the result for different levels of consumption c. 

But I am not very happy with the word different, because it sounds to me a bit like different from a baseline. But what I want to say is they are merely different among themselves.

My second attempt is this.

Figure 1 shows the result for varying levels of consumption c.

Is there a clearer word than different or varying? If not which one do you prefer.

Thanks for reading.

Figure 1

Edit: s -> c

  • I think you can keep "different" and change "levels": Figure 1 shows the result [in something] for different values of consumption.
    – AIQ
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 8:28
  • The "[space] s" at the end of each sentence looks odd, as though you can't decide if a plural is needed. The diagram uses c. Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 9:49
  • Thanks for point this out. Fixed it.
    – oldmansaur
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


I would think that "different rates of consumption" would be more idiomatic than "levels", as "consumption" is the action of using up a resource over time.

For an alternative to "different", I personally would not use "varying", because that can also mean fluctuating, whereas it seems you are trying to refer to three constant rates.

You could use the words "distinct" or "differing", but my preference would be "contrasting", as this shows that you have chosen the three rates of consumption for contrast.

Figure 1 shows the results for three contrasting rates of consumption.

  • Just beat me to posting "various rates of consumption." Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 9:46

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