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    #1

    likely vs probably

    Hi,
    What' s the difference between "likely" and "probably" when they are used as adverb?
    Dictionaries told me they all mean that something will happen or to be true with a possibility of more than 50%.
    I found some information which told me that "likely" can be used with a subject of somebody or something whereas "probably" can just be used with a subject of something. However, when I saw more sentence, I found that was not the case?
    Please help me to clear the difference up, thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: likely vs probably

    In British English we can say:

    It is probable that he will come.
    It is likely that he will come.
    He will probably come.
    He is likely to come.


    We cannot say:
    He will likely come.
    He is probable/probably to come
    .

    I believe that the fifth sentence is possible in American English, and it is beginning to be heard in British English.

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    #3

    Re: likely vs probably

    "He will likely come" sounds OK to me.

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    #4

    Re: likely vs probably

    Thanks a lot, 5jj and SoothingDave.
    I just re-did some exercises which I occasionally found on the Oxford University site when I googled the word difference yesterday. At this time, each question was correct . I attached them to share with other English learners.


    1. The traffic is terrible so I'll probably be late this morning.
    2. Climate change is likely to affect us all by the end of the decade.
    3. I'll call them if you like, but they aren't likely to be in.
    4. The concert tickets are likely to sell out very quickly.
    5. I'll probably find out if I've passed or not by the end of the day.
    6. You've probably heard this joke before, but I'll tell you anyway.

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