Scientific English as a Foreign Language
Answers to Lesson of June 12, 1998
Logical and Chronological Adverbs

As scientists, we often describe a process or experiment, and we would like to express ourselves in a logical way. To emphasize the logical or chronological result of a certain pattern of thinking, we use words or phrases such as:

The first nine are used almost synonymously in formal writing; the first seven of which imply very exact reasoning. The last two are informal and should not appear in a scientific paper. But of course there are exceptions--"then" is properly employed in a chronological sequence, e.g., first I got out of bed, then I took a shower, then I had breakfast, and then I went to work. Also, you can use "so" in a publication in the word groupings "so as to" or "so that" to introduce a logical result, for example, "Turn up the voltage so as to obtain a stronger signal", or alternatively, "Turn up the voltage so that a stronger signal is obtained."

The Random House CD-ROM Dictionary clarifies the subtle differences between some of the synonyms listed above.

Place one of the words discussed above in the blanks. It could be that more than one word is correct.

1. A plus B equals C. ______ it follows that C minus B equals A.
Therefore, Wherefore, Hence, Thus, Ergo, As a result, Resultingly
2. First the sample was placed into the chamber, then the monolayer was deposited.
3. The administration has imposed new rules and regulations. We must rewrite our safety manuals ________.
accordingly, consequently
4. "Your talk was super! _____ you must have practiced it a lot!" So, Then
5. The pH of the solution was changed so that the DNA unfolded.

There was a young lady named Bright,
Who travelled much faster than light.
She started one day
In the relative way
And returned on the previous night.

-Arthur Buller, ~1920

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Created 12 June 1998, by Nancy Burnham and Fred Hutson.