What Are Adverbs of Probability?
Adverbs of probability are a type of adverb used to indicate the likelihood or probability of an event or situation occurring. They provide information about the speaker's or writer's degree of certainty or uncertainty about what is being discussed.
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. For example:
But of course, there are some exceptions. Some of them are flat adverbs (also called bare adverbs or simple adverbs) and some others 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 it.
Usually, 'perhaps' and 'maybe' are placed at the beginning of the clause.
'Perhaps' can be used at the end of the sentence, but only in spoken English.
We'll watch a movie,
Adverbs of Probability: Uses
Here, you can see a list of the most common adverbs of probability arranged from the least likely to the most likely:
|the least likely
|the 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