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    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 135
    #1

    "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


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #2

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

    Probably.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #3

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

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie View Post
    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.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #4

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

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    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.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
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      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,630
    #5

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    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.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #6

    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.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #7

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

    Seems to be a pond difference.

    +++++++++++++++
    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.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Google.com

    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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