Scientific Language: Using Verbs

The verbs in the discussion are more complex than in any other section of the report. The tense may shift from past to present to present perfect (e.g. .... the water has been shown to be above the safety standard of 100CFUs/mL and is therefore unfit for human consumption.). The verb groups also help to develop the argument in the discussion by using modal verbs which express different degrees of certainty or necessity e.g. ‘can’, ‘may’, ‘is possible’, ‘should’, ‘is necessary’ or verbs like ‘appear’, ‘suggest’. Using verbs like these helps you to be more tentative about the claims and recommendations you are making.

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