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.

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



word / phraseexample
always Explain why the air directly above a flame is always hot.
common Ball bearings are the most common rollers in use today.
commonly Iron is also a good conductor and is commonly used to make furnaces and boilers for heating systems.
constantly The body constantly loses water through breathing and sweating.
frequently Asthma may be triggered by many things but is most frequently linked to allergies to pollutants and other irritants in the air.
generally The 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 cases In 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.
never Lost nutrients, other than vitamins, are never usually replaced.
normally The lights we use to imitate daylight are normally either incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
often People in hot climates often wear pale colours to keep cool.
rarely Large vacuoles are rarely found in animal cells.
sometimes Sometimes carbohydrates are identified as starches and sugars.
occassionally Why do cars occasionally skid going round a corner?
tend Diabetics tend to lose weight and may experience bouts of tiredness.
usually Catalysts that slow down biological processes are usually known as inhibitors.



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



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