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    #1

    what modal verb ..

    Hi

    They are likely to go.

    What modal verb can I use instead of the phrase "are likely to" ?
    Can I say : They might go [?]

    Thank you very much in advance.


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    #2

    Re: what modal verb ..

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Hi

    They are likely to go.

    What modal verb can I use instead of the phrase "are likely to" ?
    Can I say : They might go [?]

    Thank you very much in advance.
    may signals speculative inference, must signals deductive strength of inference

    They may/might go -- it is on the cards; there is no reason to think they will not.
    they must come -- they always do.

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    #3

    Re: what modal verb ..

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    may signals speculative inference, must signals deductive strength of inference

    They may/might go -- it is on the cards; there is no reason to think they will not.
    they must come -- they always do.
    They must come- it is certain [95%] that they come.
    My question was : what is the correct modal verb which can replace the expression "it is likely".
    Thank you


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    #4

    Re: what modal verb ..

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    They must come- it is certain [95%] that they come.
    My question was : what is the correct modal verb which can replace the expression "it is likely".
    Thank you
    I think the modal idiom be likely to allows for a wider range of degree of probability.

    'They are likely to come.' 'How likely? Hardly likely?' 'No. Very likely, extremely likely or quite likely.'
    'How do you know? Have you arrived at it by speculating (They may/might go)?' 'No, by reasoned deduction (They must go).
    Cheers,

    Svartnik

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    #5

    Re: what modal verb ..

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    I think the modal idiom be likely to allows for a wider range of degree of probability.

    'They are likely to come.' 'How likely? Hardly likely?' 'No. Very likely, extremely likely or quite likely.'
    'How do you know? Have you arrived at it by speculating (They may/might go)?' 'No, by reasoned deduction (They must go).
    Cheers,

    Svartnik

    I agree with you that this phrase refers to probability, but not certainty as "must" implies.
    I looked up for the word and I understood that "likely" means [ most of the cases] "probably", so I`d choose "may" or "might" but never "must".
    They are likely to go = It`s a good chance that they go
    Last edited by Teia; 26-Jul-2007 at 19:51.

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    #6

    Re: what modal verb ..

    Hello TP,

    Without the full context, it's quite difficult to substitute a modal verb for the phrase.

    But "may" and "might" seem not quite appropriate here. In conversation, if the phrase were an answer to a question, for instance, perhaps the nearest modal equivalent would be "They should be going, yes".

    All the best,

    MrP

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    #7

    Re: what modal verb ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello TP,

    Without the full context, it's quite difficult to substitute a modal verb for the phrase.

    But "may" and "might" seem not quite appropriate here. In conversation, if the phrase were an answer to a question, for instance, perhaps the nearest modal equivalent would be "They should be going, yes".

    All the best,

    MrP

    Hi MrP

    Thank you very much for clarifying that. I don`t have the exact context at the moment but , as soon as I have it, I`ll let you know.
    Thank you again.

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