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Cautious language

Cautious language is used to convey how certain you are of the opinions or arguments you are using in your writing, especially when writing an argument. It is important to be cautious or tentative in your claims unless they are proved without any doubt.

How to use cautious language

If there is strong evidence for your claim or argument in an essay you can match it with a strong modal verb or adjective.

A modal verb is a verb used to express an idea like ‘possibility’ or ‘probability’ or ‘certainty’. Examples of modal verbs are ‘can’ ‘must’ or ‘will’.

For example you could use ‘will’ if you have strong evidence. If the evidence is quite strong but not certain then you could use ‘should’ or ‘would’. If the claim is weak or doubtful you could use ‘might’ or ‘perhaps’.