A hypothesis (from Greek ὑπόθεσις [iˈpoθesis]) consists either of a suggested explanation for an observable phenomenon or of a reasoned proposal predicting a possible causal correlation among multiple phenomena. The term derives from the Greek, hypotithenai meaning "to put under" or "to suppose." The scientific method requires that one can test a scientific hypothesis. Scientists generally base such hypotheses on previous observations or on extensions of scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously in common and informal usage, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A hypothesis is never to be stated as a question, but always as a statement with an explanation following it. It is not to be a question because it states what the experimenter thinks will occur. Hypotheses are usually written in the "if-then form": If X, then Y.
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