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    #1

    probable, possible and likely, etc

    Dear teachers,

    I have two questions to ask:

    No.1
    I find the following words confusing.
    a. probable: likely to be true or likely to happen.
    b. likely: describes something that will probably happen or is expected.
    The only difference I can see between the two is that probable can mean 'to be true' while likely can't. But it is quite unclear which is more likely to happen of the two. Could you please explain it to me?

    No.2
    Both conserve and preserve can mean 'keep'.
    When 'preserve' is used as a verb it can mean 'to treat food in a particular way so that it can be kept for a long time without going bad while conserve doesn't bear this meaning.
    preserved fruit; oranges preserved in brandy.

    When 'preserve' is used as a noun it can mean:
    a food made from fruit or vegetables boiled with sugar and water until it becomes like a firm sauce:

    apricot preserve
    jars of preserves

    When conserve is used as a noun it means: a type of jam in which the fruit is whole or in large pieces.
    apricot/strawberry conserve

    To me the only difference between the nouns is the size of the fruit. Is that right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: probable, possible and likely, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I have two questions to ask:

    No.1
    I find the following words confusing.
    a. probable: likely to be true or likely to happen.
    b. likely: describes something that will probably happen or is expected.
    The only difference I can see between the two is that probable can mean 'to be true' while likely can't. But it is quite unclear which is more likely to happen of the two. Could you please explain it to me?

    No.2
    Both conserve and preserve can mean 'keep'.
    When 'preserve' is used as a verb it can mean 'to treat food in a particular way so that it can be kept for a long time without going bad while conserve doesn't bear this meaning.
    preserved fruit; oranges preserved in brandy.
    When 'preserve' is used as a noun it can mean:
    a food made from fruit or vegetables boiled with sugar and water until it becomes like a firm sauce:
    apricot preserve
    jars of preserves

    When conserve is used as a noun it means: a type of jam in which the fruit is whole or in large pieces.
    apricot/strawberry conserve

    To me the only difference between the nouns is the size of the fruit. Is that right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang
    I see little difference between probable and likely. Both mean more likkely than not. I'm not sure they can be sharpened to a higher degree.

    I've never heard of "conserve" as a jam. I had to look it up. One of my dictionaries lists "preserve" as a synonym. It also says it is usually a mixture of fruits. It did not mention the size, nor did a second dictionary. My guess is that these words are close to interchangeable.

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    #3

    Re: probable, possible and likely, etc

    Dear Mike,
    Thank you very much for your reply. Now I understand No.1.
    I consulted the words 'preserve', 'reserve' and 'conserve' because there is a multiple choice in an exercise book:
    There is now an easy way to _________ fruits and vegetables.
    a. preserve b.reserve c. conserve
    The key is 'a', no problem. But according to the definition of 'conserve' 'c' is also correct.

    The definitions of 'conserve' and 'preserve' are found in 'Cambridge Dictionary Online'. The website is: Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press.
    And in Merriam Webster's Dictionary there is the definition 'to preserve with sugar'. The website is: m-w com.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I see little difference between probable and likely. Both mean more likkely than not. I'm not sure they can be sharpened to a higher degree.

    I've never heard of "conserve" as a jam. I had to look it up. One of my dictionaries lists "preserve" as a synonym. It also says it is usually a mixture of fruits. It did not mention the size, nor did a second dictionary. My guess is that these words are close to interchangeable.
    Last edited by jiang; 05-Dec-2006 at 01:17.

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    #4

    Re: probable, possible and likely, etc

    Conserves are things like jam and marmalade- we don't usually use sugar with vegetables, which tend to be pickled.

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    #5

    Re: probable, possible and likely, etc


    Dear Tdol,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Conserves are things like jam and marmalade- we don't usually use sugar with vegetables, which tend to be pickled.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: probable, possible and likely, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear Mike,
    Thank you very much for your reply. Now I understand No.1.
    I consulted the words 'preserve', 'reserve' and 'conserve' because there is a multiple choice in an exercise book:
    There is now an easy way to _________ fruits and vegetables.
    a. preserve b.reserve c. conserve
    The key is 'a', no problem. But according to the definition of 'conserve' 'c' is also correct.

    The definitions of 'conserve' and 'preserve' are found in 'Cambridge Dictionary Online'. The website is: Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press.
    And in Merriam Webster's Dictionary there is the definition 'to preserve with sugar'. The website is: m-w com.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    I agree with Tdol. The vegetables makes "conserve" incorrect. Even without the vegetables, I would have chosen "preserve".
    As I said, at least in AmE, these uses of conserve/conserves are very rare.

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