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    #1

    Use "more likely" as an adjective or adverb?

    Hello!

    In formal English (I'm writing a PhD thesis in physics), is it better to use "more likely" as an adjective or adverb, or is both equally correct?

    Context: I wrote "(plural subject) can be more likely to remain undetected or be discarded...", and I was corrected "(plural subject) more likely remain undetected or are discarded..."

    Thanks for your help!

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    #2

    Exclamation Re: Use "more likely" as an adjective or adverb?

    Quote Originally Posted by svenor View Post
    Hello!

    In formal English (I'm writing a PhD thesis in physics), is it better to use "more likely" as an adjective or adverb, or is both equally correct?

    Context: I wrote "(plural subject) can be more likely to remain undetected or be discarded...", and I was corrected "(plural subject) more likely remain undetected or are discarded..."

    Thanks for your help!
    likely basically is an adjective while more is used both as an adverb as well as adjective. When used as an adverb likely is most commonly preceded by a modifier such as more,very or quite: He will quite likely require some help with his classes. But the unmodified use of likely as adverb should be better avoided in highly formal style. In my openion, since yours is a thesis, you may use more likely as an adjective and less as an adverb.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: Use "more likely" as an adjective or adverb?

    "likely' is both an adjective -(the likely effects of gamma rays on...) - and an adverb meaning 'probably' as in 'more likely' and 'most likely'.

    'more' is both an adjective -(I poured myself more coffee)- and an adverb -(Enthusiasm is more important than talent - where 'more' modifies the adjective 'important'.

    As I understand your sentence:

    "Quarks are more likely to remain undetected or be discarded..."

    In your 'corrected' version:
    and I was corrected "(plural subject) more likely remain undetected or are discarded..."
    This is a bit too colloquial for a formal thesis - I recommend the inclusion of 'are' and the change to 'to remain'

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