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Use “likely” when a situation is very possible. 

Words that end in “ly” are usually adverbs. This word can be used as an adverb or as an adjective. 

likely = probably 

The word "likely" is an adjective in these examples.

  • Rain is likely for this evening. 
  • How likely is it? 
  • That’s a likely outcome. 
  • It’s unlikely that he’s going to win the election.  (To make “likely” negative, add the prefix “un.” 
  • A win is unlikely. 
  • It’s highly likely that they will lose the game. 
  • Time in jail is a very likely punishment for someone who has committed a felony. (felony = serious crime) 
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  • His success is likely because he works so hard. 

The word "likely" is an adverb in these examples.

  • All of this humidity will likely result in rain. (The word “likely” modifies the verb “result,” which makes “likely” an adverb.) 
  • It’s likely to rain. (The infinitive, “to rain,” is modified by “likely.”) 
  • He likely forgot his appointment was at 2:00.  (likely + forgot = adverb + verb)
  • They will likely need a bigger house after the birth of their third child. 
  • The tree is likely to come down because most of it is dead. 
  • A person with that kind of cancer is likely to survive it. 
  • You’re likely to get sick if you don’t cook meat properly. 
  • He’s likely to succeed. 
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  • That rabbit is likely to get caught by the coyote that lives in the area. 

Here are some ways to form questions with "likely.

  • How likely is it? 
  • How likely is it that…
  • Is it likely? 
  • Is it likely that….
  • What is the likely impact from _______________? 
  • What is the likely impact from climate change? 
  • What is the most likely result? 
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  • How likely is she to give up her beautiful car? 
  • Is it likely that she will ever sell her car? 
  • Is she likely to sell it? 
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