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probably

Use “probably” when a situation has a high possibility of happening. There’s a high chance or a high likelihood. 

  • It’s probably going to rain.   (future) 
  • He’s probably here right now.  (present) 
  • She probably woke up late this morning. (past) 

You can use “probably” for situations in the past, present, or future. 

a. "Probably" is often used for future situations.

  • We will probably need to bring our hats and gloves. 
  • Jeff is probably going to be late. 
  • I’m probably not going to be at rehearsal tomorrow. 
  • This repair is probably going to be very expensive. 
  • They’ll probably finish the work by next week. 
  • Biden will probably win the election. 
  • I’ll probably see you tomorrow. 
  • Bob probably won’t come to school tomorrow. 

Use “probably” when there’s a strong possibility that something will happen. It’s 70, 80, 90 percent possible. 

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  • He’s probably going to go to prison for his crimes. 
  • He’ll probably get at least ten years in prison. 
  • He’ll probably be released from prison early if his behavior is good. 

b. "Probably" can be used for present situations.

  • He’s probably sick. 
  • This watermelon is probably no good. 
  • You probably have a bad battery that needs to be replaced. 
  • They’re probably here by now. Let’s go see. 
  • This is probably not the best time to take a break. We have to keep on working. 
  • This old radio probably doesn’t work. 
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  • A: What’s making all that noise? 
  • B: You probably need a new bottom bracket on your bike. 

c. "Probably" can also be used for past situations.

  • The people in the plane crash were probably terrified before they died. 
  • He probably needed to get some gas. 
  • Mario was probably having a heart attack, but he didn’t know it. 
  • Those kids probably would have been killed in the accident if they hadn’t been wearing seatbelts. 
  • That was probably the best decision you ever made. 
  • The people who lived in this area 10,000 years ago probably didn’t know how to farm. 
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  • He was probably late this morning. 
  • His boss was probably mad. 
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