What Are Adverbs of Probability?
Adverbs of probability (sometimes called adverbs of certainty) modify a verb to tell us how certain we are about a situation or an action.
Most Common Adverbs of Probability
The most common adverbs of probability are:
- very likely
- not likely
Adverbs of Probability: Structure
Many (but not all) adverbs of probability end with -ly.
But of course, there are some exceptions. Some are flat adverbs (also called bare adverbs or simple adverbs) and some are formed by a preposition + a noun phrase:
- for sure
- for certain
Adverbs of Probability: Placement
We usually place adverbs of probability before the main verb.
They did everything they
If the verb of the sentence is 'to be,' adverbs of probability come after the verb 'be.'
Usually, we place 'perhaps' and 'maybe' at the beginning of the clause.
We can place 'perhaps' at the end of the sentence, but only in spoken English.
We'll watch a movie,
Adverbs of Probability: Uses
Here, you can see the adverbs of probability arranged from less likely to most likely:
Adverbs of probability are used to express how certain we are about an event. They are used in different positions in the clause but mainly they are placed:
- before the main verb
- after the verb 'be'
- sometimes at the beginning of the clause