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Scientific article style: present or future

Which sentence is correct between these two:

  1. If you heat ice, it will turn into water.
  2. If you heat ice, it turns into water.
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marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, MετάEd, Will Hunting, Mahnax, J.R. Sep 1 '12 at 18:58

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Where are these questions coming from? Is this from some exam or workbook? –  tchrist Sep 1 '12 at 15:25
    
@tchrist: i think this is not the point to discuss here –  Krishna Chandra Tiwari Sep 1 '12 at 15:32
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@KrishnaChandraTiwari: Actually, it's a valid question. You asked which of the two was "correct" – that often depends on context. –  J.R. Sep 1 '12 at 15:34
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-1 No research shown. –  MετάEd Sep 1 '12 at 15:49
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2 Answers 2

Both are grammatically correct. One can use the present for a future action, especially when it is a general (not specific) or frequentive one. Notice the difference in sense between these two contrasting examples:

  • If you heat up this ice cube, it will melt into water.
  • Whenever you heat ice, it turns into water.

The first is about a particular piece of ice, the second about ice in general.

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I'm not convinced "it" implies any "particular piece of ice" in this context. If you swap the clauses after the commas in those examples, I don't see any difference in meaning / emphasis / nuance. –  FumbleFingers Sep 1 '12 at 15:17
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Both are grammatical. The second is the normal way of stating something that is always the case. The first is an example of what is sometimes known as the First Conditional, which predicts a likely result if the condition in the if-clause is met. The nature of the statement in this particular case means that you can use either construction without fear of being misunderstood.

However, that is not always so. There’s a difference between If you run, you catch the train and If you run, you will catch the train. The first can be true at any time, but the second would be used in a particular situation in which someone you knew actually needed to catch a train.

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but what i was thinking that the second one is correct because in this sentence , everyone knows that if the ice will be heated then it is 100% sure that it will turn into water..but in first one I used it will ,that shows that i'm uncertain 100%.contradicting one another –  Krishna Chandra Tiwari Sep 1 '12 at 15:30
    
@KrishnaChandraTiwari No, there is no uncertainty in either case –  StoneyB Sep 1 '12 at 15:44
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@KrishnaChandraTiwari Your comment doesn’t make sense; there is no uncertainty inherent in something expressed by will. Compare with may or might, in which there is. –  tchrist Sep 1 '12 at 15:45
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