Number one for English language teachers

Generalizations: Science

Type: Word list

Keith Kelly looks at examples of language used in making generalizations from the area of science; these can be split into three broad groups: quantity, frequency and certainty.

To download the accompanying lesson plan, please click on the link to the right of the screen.


word / phrase / symbolexample
%There is a 25% chance that a child born to heterozygous parents will suffer from the disease.
a fewAfter only a few seconds of hard work, the muscles need extra oxygen for the increase in conversion of fuel into energy.
a littleSports drinks usually contain 5% sugar, a little salt and some flavourings.
all the (essential)The food we eat contains all the essential nutrition we need to grow and stay healthy.
a number ofWater from the sea can be desalinated using a number of different methods.
everyEvery day we use our sense of touch to describe temperature as hot, warm or cold.
fewThe atmosphere contains about 79% nitrogen but few organisms can use it because it is very unreactive.
littlePlastics can easily be shaped and little energy is required for moulding.
the main part ofProteins, carbohydrates and fats make up the main part of our diet.
mainlyThe carbohydrates we eat come mainly from plant foods.
manyThere are many different types of plastics, with many different properties.
mostMost forms of static and electrical noise are naturally AM; FM receivers will not respond to AM signals.
mostly … especiallyWe mostly get oils from plant foods, especially from seeds and fruits.
muchIt is much harder to lift an object when its centre of gravity is far away from your body.
relativelyWe need to eat minerals only in relatively small amounts to stay healthy.
severalSea birds are affected by oil in several ways.
significant amounts (of)Dairy products also contain significant amounts of carbohydrates.
someSome of the energy is converted into chemical energy and stored as proteins, fats and other substances in our bodies.



word / phraseexample
alwaysExplain why the air directly above a flame is always hot.
commonBall bearings are the most common rollers in use today.
commonlyIron is also a good conductor and is commonly used to make furnaces and boilers for heating systems.
constantlyThe body constantly loses water through breathing and sweating.
frequentlyAsthma may be triggered by many things but is most frequently linked to allergies to pollutants and other irritants in the air.
generallyThe warm front is generally accompanied by stratiform clouds, extending as much as 1600km ahead of the warm front on the ground.
in extreme / some / most casesIn extreme cases, all the fat reserves in the body are depleted.
In some cases, blood tests are taken from parents to work out whether they carry the faulty version of the gene.
Natural vegetative propagation, in most cases, makes use of storage organs such as stems, roots or leaves.
neverLost nutrients, other than vitamins, are never usually replaced.
normallyThe lights we use to imitate daylight are normally either incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
oftenPeople in hot climates often wear pale colours to keep cool.
rarelyLarge vacuoles are rarely found in animal cells.
sometimesSometimes carbohydrates are identified as starches and sugars.
occassionallyWhy do cars occasionally skid going round a corner?
tendDiabetics tend to lose weight and may experience bouts of tiredness.
usuallyCatalysts that slow down biological processes are usually known as inhibitors.



certainAir can only hold a certain amount of moisture, so when the air next to the skin is moist, sweat cannot evaporate.
probablyProbably the most common use of an inclined plane is to slide a load along a ramp, for example to load or unload a truck.
likelyWhich safety symbol are you likely to come across at a gas station?
possiblyList five ways in which you could possibly reduce your water bill for the next month.
unlikelyIf Rhesus factor problems are left untreated, it is unlikely that the child will survive.


Rate this resource (5 average user rating)

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

You must be signed in to rate.

  • Share

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Powered by Webstructure.NET

Access denied popup