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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > LIKELY or PROBABLE?    

LIKELY or PROBABLE?



pilarmham
Spain

LIKELY or PROBABLE?
 
Could you help me out, please?

Can you tell me if likely and probable (and unlikely-improbable) are exact terms? Can they be used indifferently?

Thank you!!



16 Feb 2013      



ueslteacher
Ukraine

http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/likely
http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/probable

Maybe the native-speakers will explain it better.
Sophia

16 Feb 2013     



yanogator
United States

I would say that they are interchangeable, except in certain expressions that traditionally use one or the other. The only one that comes to mind immediately is "highly likely". I think that in Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle uses the phrase "not bloody likely", and she definitely wouldn īt say "not bloody probable". (Forgive the strong language)
 
Bruce

16 Feb 2013     



pilarmham
Spain

Thanks a lot, Sophia and Bruce! Smile


17 Feb 2013