# Thread: "likely", "probably" and "possibly"?

1. Member
Join Date
May 2008
Posts
135

## "likely", "probably" and "possibly"?

Hi,
Please have a look at this:

It will.... rain later so we should go and have our picnic now
a. probably
b. possibly
c. likely
d. usually
-> The answer is a, then why not b? what's the difference between "likely", "probably" and "possibly"?

Many thanks
Newbie

2. Key Member
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Probably.

3. Banned
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## Re: "likely", "probably" and "possibly"?

Originally Posted by newbie
Hi,
Please have a look at this:

It will.... rain later so we should go and have our picnic now
a. probably
b. possibly
c. likely
d. usually
-> The answer is a, then why not b? what's the difference between "likely", "probably" and "possibly"?

Many thanks
Newbie
Another bad test question, Newbie. 'likely' holds a meaning that is identical to 'probably'. They are equivalent to 'should' in an epistemic/level of certainty sense, but 'should' cannot always be used and in this case it can't be used.

'possibly' is equivalent to 'could' so though it is also pooooossible here, it doesn't suggest the same strength as the other two.

4. Key Member
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## Re: "likely", "probably" and "possibly"?

Originally Posted by riverkid
Another bad test question, Newbie. 'likely' holds a meaning that is identical to 'probably'. They are equivalent to 'should' in an epistemic/level of certainty sense, but 'should' cannot always be used and in this case it can't be used.

'possibly' is equivalent to 'could' so though it is also pooooossible here, it doesn't suggest the same strength as the other two.
I have some doubts regarding 'It will likely rain ...' . I think it would be possible to say ' It is likely to rain ...', but the test sentence doesn't suggest this variant (It will ... rain ...').
As for ' possibly', I agree, it's not strong enough for this sentence.

5. ## Re: "likely", "probably" and "possibly"?

Originally Posted by Clark
I have some doubts regarding 'It will likely rain ...' . I think it would be possible to say ' It is likely to rain ...', but the test sentence doesn't suggest this variant (It will ... rain ...').
As for ' possibly', I agree, it's not strong enough for this sentence.
Although I have heard "It will likely rain", it sounds clumsy to me and I would use "It is likely to..."

I agree that "probably" is the best answer, but "possibly" is also possible.

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## Re: "likely", "probably" and "possibly"?

It will.... rain later so we should go and have our picnic NOW
What's the urgency? Because it's probable it will rain. Couple this with 'will' and not 'could'

compare something like:
It might be an idea to have our picnic soon because it could possibly rain later on.

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## Re: "likely", "probably" and "possibly"?

Seems to be a pond difference.

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likely - definition of likely by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

likely

Usage Note: Used as an adverb likely is most commonly preceded by a modifier such as very or quite: He will quite likely require some help with his classes. But the unmodified use of likely is common enough in educated writing, and though it might be better avoided in highly formal style, it should not be regarded as incorrect: They'll likely buy a new car this year. See Usage Note at liable.

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Results 1 - 10 of about 215,000 English pages for "it will likely".

UK pages only:

Results 1 - 10 of about 32,900 for "It will likely".

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