Dear friends,

Do you know what is the difference between:

Probably, maybe, likely?


Tell you what. You have a try at answering first. What do you think?

Dear all,

At the request of Conchita, I give you my opinions about these words.
While working, I realize that “probable” is “likely” to be true, to happen…, that “likely” means “probable” or “expected”, that “maybe” is used when somebody is not sure that sth will happen or is true…
I’d like to say one thing. If you aren’t native speaker, when you hear one word, you seems to understand all but in fact, how to distinguish clearly is very difficult.

Before, I have taught language (not English) and I understand that.

So, please help me if possible.

Many thanks.
Van Khanh

Very good, Van Khanh, your answer is correct and well explained.

The difference is about certainty.

Maybe and perhaps are used to express approx. 50% certainty that something is going to happen in the future.

Likely and probably are used to express approx 90% certainty that something is going to happen in the future.

Same thing with “I will go” and “I may go”.

I guees I’m right about this.

You’re right, TOEFL (this acronym always makes me think of the German word for ‘devil’!). Usually, ‘probably’ and ‘likely’ are ‘more likely’ than ‘maybe’ and ‘perhaps’.

Hey Conchita, I may be der Teufel aber I am likely der Engel :slight_smile:

Has du die Deutche sprache in die Schule gelernt?

Aren’t we all part angel and part devil :slight_smile: ?

Ja, Deutsch habe ich zuerst in der Schule und dann auch in Deutschland gelernt (yes, I learned German at school – in Switzerland – and in Germany).