"likely" as an adverb

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vanity

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When used as an adverb, is it necessary to preced "likely" with a qualifier such as "very", "quite", "most", etc.?

So the sentence "She will likely leave before midnight." becomes "She will most likely leave before midnight.".

I prefer the second option as it is more often heard in the UK.

Is there a fixed rule on this?
Many thanks.
 

rlfwood

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As you noted, this structure and its variants are more common in the UK. In American English, "probably" would be more common. So, "She will probably leave before midnight."
 

2006

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When used as an adverb, is it necessary to precede "likely" with a qualifier such as "very", "quite", "most", etc.? No, it's not necessary.

So the sentence "She will likely leave before midnight." becomes "She will most likely leave before midnight.".
If you add a modifier before "likely", it can change the meaning. Adding "very" before "likely" increases the likelihood of her leaving before midnight.


Is there a fixed rule on this?
Many thanks.
2006
 
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