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    #1

    a line of probability

    I am trying to make a line of probability.

    certain > very likely >> likely >> even chance >> fair chance >> poor chance >> unlikely >> very unlikely >> impossible

    But I don't know where I shall put possible and probable.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: a line of probability

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    I am trying to make a line of probability.

    certain > very likely >> likely >> even chance >> fair chance >> poor chance >> unlikely >> very unlikely >> impossible

    But I don't know where I shall put possible and probable.

    Thanks.
    'Possible' is used for anything that has a possibility of happening, so anything from very likely to very unlikely is possible.

    'Probable' is used for anything that has a possibility of happening higher than 50%. So anything that is more likely to happen than not is probable.

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    #3

    Re: a line of probability

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkLightA View Post
    'Possible' is used for anything that has a possibility of happening, so anything from very likely to very unlikely is possible.

    'Probable' is used for anything that has a possibility of happening higher than 50%. So anything that is more likely to happen than not is probable.
    Sorry, I have been thinking about your answers. But I still cannot figure out where shall I put Probable and possible on the line of probability. Kindly advise.

    Thanks.

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    #4

    Re: a line of probability

    Your line of probability can't be completely linear. Possible incorporates everything except impossible, and probable is anything from likely and up.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a line of probability

    certain > very likely >> likely/probable >> even chance/possible >> fair chance >> poor chance >> unlikely >> very unlikely >> impossible

    That's my suggestion. However, depending on context and, in speech, on intonation, 'possible' could be used for something that is pretty unlikely.

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    #6

    Re: a line of probability

    I don't agree that "fair chance" is less likely than "even chance."

    You can see how subjective this is.

    Even tone of voice can change it. "Well," she said doubtfully, "I suppose it's possible, but I'm not going to count on it." That moves "possible" down to somewhere around "unlikely" or "very unlikely."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: a line of probability

    I am not a teacher.

    And a fat chance and a slim chance are the same thing. It gets complicated fast.

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    #8

    Re: a line of probability

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    certain/possible > very likely/possible/probable >> likely/possible/probable >> even chance/possible >> fair chance/possible >> poor chance/possible >> unlikely/possible >> very unlikely/possible >> impossible

    That's my suggestion. However, depending on context and, in speech, on intonation, 'possible' could be used for something that is pretty unlikely.
    Corrected

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: a line of probability

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    I am trying to make a line of probability.

    certain > very likely >> likely >> even chance >> fair chance >> poor chance >> unlikely >> very unlikely >> impossible

    But I don't know where I shall put possible and probable.

    Thanks.
    I think what you are trying to do is impossible or at least very difficult and I can't see any value in it. As Barb suggested, it's very subjective.

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