How to use Adverb of Certainty “Probably”

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Meaning and Use of the Adverb of Certainty “Probably”

Unsurprisingly, Adverbs of Certainty are used to state how sure we feel about an action or event.

“Probably” is a commonly used Adverb of Certainty. It tells the listener that the speaker is 70-80% sure an event will take place.

For example, A Science fiction Writer once said:

“Mankind will probably live on the Moon someday.”

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When she said this, she felt a degree of certainty that Humans will someday live on the Moon. What do you think? How likely is it that people will live on the Moon or Mars? 

Here’s a list of other Adverbs of Certainty: 

  • Certainly
  • Definitely
  • Probably
  • Undoubtedly
  • Surely

These words are Adverbs, ending in ly

A Bit of Grammar

What are the rules for using the Adverb of Certainty “probably” in a full sentence?

Like all other Adverbs, “probably” is used to describe a Verb. For example, “I probably know all the Adverbs of Certainty.” In this sentence, “know” is the Verb. 

In fact, Adverbs of Certainty are placed before the main Verb, unless the main Verb is “to be,” in which case the Adverb of Certainty goes after the Verb.

For example: “He was probably at home.” 

This is the exception to the rule, unlike in our previous example: 

“We will Probably Live on the Moon.” Here the Verb follows the Adverb of Certainty “probably.” 

Examples of the Adverb of Certainty “Probably”

  • She would probably know the fastest way.
  • Nancy should probably listen to her gut feeling about this. 
  • Thomas probably opened the letter not knowing who it was from.

Let’s practice 

Q1: Try making your own sentence.

Q2: Using probably, share something about an event that you are anticipating to happen.

Q3: Have you experienced something that is probably a moment in your life that you will never forget? Explain.

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