Is it correct to say, the profits show improvement by time

Does it mean here that profits increase year after year?

  • "Is it correct to say, the profits show improvement by time?" Nope. – user8543 Feb 24 '15 at 12:54
  • how can I say that? by the years maybe? – Ben Kim Feb 24 '15 at 12:57
  • 'Profits have increased year on year since 2010'. – user8543 Feb 24 '15 at 12:58
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    "Over time" or "over a period of n years" – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 24 '15 at 13:22
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    @WhatRoughBeast "Year on year" has in fact become fairly widely used in financial circles in the narrow context of comparing current data to those of one year earlier. – StoneyB on hiatus Feb 24 '15 at 13:42

The profits show improvement by time

This means, as time moves forward, profits improve.

The sentence above is not specific as to the interval of the time. You can say any of:

The profits show yearly improvement by time.

The profits show improvement yearly by time.

The profits show improvement by time yearly.

but then "by time" is redundant (because both "by time" and "yearly" modify "improvement" and "yearly" is already a time expression) and doesn't need to be in the sentence, unless you are emphasizing that there is an improvement by time rather than some other metric, such as by customer, etc.

If you say:

The yearly profits show improvement by time.

you are saying a set of yearly profits are steadily improving over a number of years. This is not redundant as "yearly" is qualifying "profits", not "improvement."

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As for the specific question being asked, you would be much more likely to encounter "profits show improvement over time", or some other variation using "over" (at least in US usage, I suppose elsewhere may differ).

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