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The number of articles I've written so far this month is 47. If I can manage to write 10 more, that number will go up to 57.

The number of articles I've written so far this month is 47. If I can manage to write 10 more, that number will come down to 57.

Do both go up and come down work in this sentence? I, as a non-native speaker, believe they do. Go up in the first sentence stresses on the increase from 47 to 57, whereas come down in the second sentence focuses on what the number will eventually be, which in this case would be 57.

Are both sentences grammatically correct? Can we use come down to talk about an increase in a figure?

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  • If a number 'comes down', it is reduced. Apr 29, 2022 at 7:56
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    A sentence can be grammatically correct but meaningless. It would be unidiomatic to refer to a number that has increased 'coming down' - native speakers would find it very strange. Apr 29, 2022 at 8:05

1 Answer 1

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If we say a number 'comes down' to a value, we mean that it is reduced from some previous higher value.

If we say a number 'goes up' to a value, we mean that is increased from some previous lower value.

In either case the previous or new values are not necessarily stated.

Due to sickness, the number of students attending the class has come down to 15.

The number of rabbits has gone up.

You may be thinking of an idiom, 'come down to' meaning 'to have a particular thing as the most important matter'. Often this is said as the final thing or item in a discussion or statement, e.g. we have thought about where we shall take our holiday next year, and It all comes down to money in the end.

Come down to something (Cambridge Dictionary)

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