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Hypothesis – IELTS word of the day

Today’s word from the Academic Word List is



There are many forms of this word that you need to note, including: hypothesis, hypothesise, hypothetical and hypothetically

Hypotheses and theories

In less academic usage, theory and  hypothesis are used almost identically. However, more academically, there is some distinction. Generally speaking, a hypothesis is an idea which is yet to be developed; whereas, a theory is a more developed idea which has perhaps already been tested.

Common combinations

form a hypothesis

test a hypothesis

support a hypothesis

confirm a hypothesis

a working hypothesis (something that appears to work even though it may need to be changed later)


This word is used to, in common language, to refer to things that don’t exist. We talk of

hypothetical situations/examples

Very often this has the further meaning that these situations are in some way unimportant.



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