I am wondering if there is any difference between the bold parts?

these are extracted from Longman:

rise: increase: to increase in number, amount, or value [= go up; ≠ fall]

raise: increase to increase an amount, number, or level [≠ lower]:

  • Hey man, just a tip for you, be a bit more careful when using larger and more complicated words as they are reliant on the smaller "supportive" words that come right after them. If you mess up the smaller support words that come after the complex words, your sentences can become confusing. – Tushar Oct 9 '14 at 11:44
  • hi @nima_persian, I tried to incorporate the bit you posted in an answer into your question properly. Please feel free to fix it up further if I didn't get the sense of it right. – Hellion Oct 9 '14 at 15:06
  • "Rise" is what it does. "Raise" is what you do to it. – fixer1234 Mar 4 '17 at 3:26

They do not always mean the same thing in different contexts. They are similar, yes, but they have different impacts on sentences. It takes a bit to figure out adequate usage but you'll get it sooner or later.

Your examples:

  • "Sales rose by 20% over the Christmas period" = The amount of sales increased by 20% over Christmas
  • "Many shops have raised their prices" = Many shops have increased the amount of their products, therefore increasing their prices

See, the examples you used have similar meanings but the word "raise" is commonly used in a context where it refers to an entity.

Watch my usage:

  • Upon asking him what he does for a living, the goat herder muttered "I raise livestock for my daily bread". (This usage focuses on the word raise referring to the growth or increase, yes, in size and not volume of an entity "livestock". It is not the same as any equivalent using the word "rise".

  • Watching the prices rise slowly was a nerve-wrecking experience for the stock broker. (This is focused on an increase in direct value in a quantitative sense). Not the same as an example of the word "raise"

I don't believe in dictionary definitions being the only way to use words in English but I would advise you to read the following links so you can understand a bit more of the usage and discern for yourself.

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  • Longman says both of them could be used for numbers, as I have showed. – nima Oct 9 '14 at 12:15
  • I can not get this, as Longman has used them for numbers in addition to value and levek: d "raise" is commonly used in a context where it refers to an entity. – nima Oct 9 '14 at 12:16
  • Yup. Hence the point of me saying read more as there are countless scenarios and way more to get accustomed to before you may distinguish the two for yourself – Tushar Oct 9 '14 at 12:16

Raise and rise cannot be used interchangeably.

  • Rise is intransitive; it means to become higher or greater, and takes only a Subject:

    The number of students from state schools rose ... = The number became larger.

    There is no indication of what caused this increase. If you want to indicate the cause you must do so with a causative preposition phrase such as due to the university's efforts or as a result of the university's efforts. This, however, is not idiomatic:

    The number of students from state schools rise by the university.

    By is used to designate an Agent only in sentences employing transitive verbs cast in the passive voice.

  • Raise is transitive; it means to cause something to become higher or greater, and it takes both a Subject, the agent which causes the increase or elevation, and a Direct Object, the Patient which undergoes the increase or elevation:

    The university raised the number of students from state schools. ... The university caused the number to become larger.

    This may be cast in the passive voice either with the agent unspecified or with the agent specified with a by phrase:

    The number of students from state schools was raised.
    The number of students from state schools was raised by the university.

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