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`What is the difference between 上がります and 増えます

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上がります

上がります means that something is going up in reference to a past position. For instance, you can use 上がります when talking about:

  • Anything measured in degrees such as temperature and altitude
  • Moving up in a ranking
  • Price

This is not an exhaustive list, but I think it covers a lot of common usage.

増えます

On the other hand, 増えます is specifically something increasing in number/amount/size. Contexts where you usually see 増えます include:

  • Population
  • Weight
  • Number of comments, likes, complaints, etc.

and so on. Again, not exhaustive, but hopefully that makes sense.

Difference

I have no link or anything to back this up, so someone please correct if I am mistaken, but I think the difference is whether or not 0 is absolute or relative.

---For instance---

In the case of 増える: the population of a country, the weight of a bag of oranges, or the number of comments all have an absolute zero - that is to say that when they reach zero, there is nothing to measure. Therefore, we use 増える for things that only have a positive, numeric range of possibilities.

On the other hand, in the case of 上がる: the rank of something or it's price and the temperature are not all necessary expressed in terms of zero - price can be negative if there is a refund (or zero if it is free for some reason), the rank of something isn't even always a number or even decided by a number, and temperature and altitude as we all know can go well below zero and still be measured. Therefore, we will typically use 上がる with things that can be measured as a negative, positive, or increase but with no quantitative base of measurement.

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上がる generally refers to a change in position of the thing you are talking about, i.e. from a lower position to a higher position. This can be used with things like objects which have moved position, people who have moved to a higher location, or a number on scale which has gone from a lower position on the scale to a higher position on the scale.

増える generally refers to an increase in size or number of the thing you are talking about, either physical or abstract, i.e. a group which has grown in number, a workload which has increased, a sense of well-being that has grown, etc.

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