How to use 'likely to' - Learners' Questions

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BBC Learning English
Published at : 14 Dec 2020
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Improve your English by learning how to use the phrase 'Be likely to' in this free tutorial from BBC Learning English.

Watch the video, then try the quiz: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/english-you-need/unit-8/session-5

SUMMARY:

Be likely to
We use be likely to to talk about the possibility of something happening, often in connection with the future.
When we say be likely to, we are confident that something will happen, but we cannot be 100% sure.
The American is likely to win the race tomorrow.
It’s likely to rain on Tuesday.

Be unlikely to
The opposite of likely is unlikely. The opposite of be likely to is be unlikely to. This means we are confident that something will not happen.
England are unlikely to win the world cup.
He’s unlikely to pass his exams.

Past
Be likely to and be unlikely to can be used in the past. Change the verb be. We usually use a perfect form after.
Sarah was unlikely to have known that her boyfriend was a criminal when she met him.
My father was unlikely to have lost his wallet in his own house.

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