Unit 6.1

Probability with Likely and Unlikely


Likely is an adjective and an adverb used with a similar meaning to probable in the affirmative form.

Unlikely is an adjective and an adverb used with a similar meaning to improbable in the negative form.


We find likely in affirmative sentences and unlikely in negative sentences.

They usually come after the verb.
{See Adjectives in Predicative Position, B1 level}


  • I will most likely fall ill as I am wearing thin clothing.
  • Is it likely that you will cry when you see him?
  • We will likely get angry when we see him.
  • You are unlikely to lose weight, you are eating too much.
  • She will unlikely be bored at this party.
  • It is unlikely that we will fall asleep.


When we use likely we want to express probability.

When we use unlikely we want to express improbability.


Likely is used to express probability, it has a similar meaning to probable and possible, whereas unlikely is used to express improbability. They are both placed before a verb in a sentence.

For example:
“She will likely lose weight.” = She will probably lose weight.
“She will unlikelylose weight.” = She won’t probably lose weight.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.