Google
English-Test.net
Find penpals and make new friends today!
 
gas pedal of a motor vehicle
cover
bulk
accelerator
frank
full quiz correct answer
 
Username
Password
 Remember me? 
Search   Album   FAQ   Memberlist   Profile   Private messages   Register   Log in 

How to use "probably"...



 
ESL/EFL Worksheets and Handouts for Students Printable, photocopiable, clearly structured
Designed for teachers and individual learners
For use in a classroom, at home, on your PC
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
A handsome woman is it possible in modern English? | Read it once a day for 5 day straight
listening exercisestell a friend
Message
Author
How to use "probably"... #1 (permalink) Wed Sep 16, 2009 17:27 pm   How to use "probably"...
 

Hi all,

I've got the following confusion. Please help me solve it and also advice me the use of "probably" in advance. Thank you very much!
------------------------------------------------------
There are no clouds in the sky, so it [...] today.

A. won't rain probably
B. won't probably rain
C. probably won't rain

I think "won't probably rain" but the book says "probably won't rain".
_________________
Thank you very much,
Hieu Phan.

P/s: Please just correct if I'm wrong somewhere!
Hieupt
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 198
Location: Vietnam

How to use "probably"... #2 (permalink) Wed Sep 16, 2009 18:17 pm   How to use "probably"...
 

C is correct. There are rules for the placement of adverbs. This page gives a good overview of the most common adverbs:
http://faculty.washington.edu/marynell/grammar/AdverbPl.html
In order to understand it, you ought to know what auxiliary verbs are and how to recognize them. If you don't, google auxiliary verbs.
Cerberus™
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Posts: 1363

In this story you'll learn everything about the passive voiceEnglish grammar exercises — improve your English knowledge and vocabulary skillsAre you a native speaker of English? Then you should read this!Here is how you can learn English the fun way! Click to subscribe to free email English course
How to use "probably"... #3 (permalink) Wed Sep 16, 2009 18:56 pm   How to use "probably"...
 

Hi Hieupt,

As has been said. 'probably won't rain' is the one to choose. I have written some notes on adverbs for the site, which you may find helpful.

http://www.english-test.net/lessons/50/index.html
http://www.english-test.net/lessons/56/index.html
http://www.english-test.net/lessons/11/index.html

Alan
_________________
English as a Second Language
You can read my ESL story Present Simple
Alan
Co-founder
Alan Townend

Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 16666
Location: UK

How to use "probably"... #4 (permalink) Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:42 am   How to use "probably"...
 

Hi, I'm confused!

I agreed that "probably won't rain" sounds more natural.
But "won't" is the auxiliary verb and "rain" is the main verb for the sentence, then according the rule said "after auxiliary verb, before other verbs", the sentence should look like "It won't probably rain", shouldn't it?

What about "It'll probably rain"? Is it grammatical correct? Then when we'd like to change the sentence to negative, how would it look?

I wonder if "probably" is a special adverb which might need to be special treatment?

Again, thank Alan and Cerberus for your feedback!
_________________
Thank you very much,
Hieu Phan.

P/s: Please just correct if I'm wrong somewhere!
Hieupt
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 198
Location: Vietnam

How to use "probably"... #5 (permalink) Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:56 am   How to use "probably"...
 

I definitely vouch for C.
_________________
Love love love love co-co-nuts, I I I I Island.
Fimbriae
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Posts: 149
Location: Ceres

How to use "probably"... #6 (permalink) Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:24 am   How to use "probably"...
 

Hieupt, you are right, the page I referred you to wasn't detailed enough to help you with your sentence; I apologize. You are correct in saying that your sentence ought to have been "it won't probably rain" according to this rule, which means that the rule doesn't apply here, since that would be incorrect.

The problem is not the word "probably", but the fact that the sentence is negative. "It'll probably rain" is according to the rule, and it is correct. I have never thought about this matter before, but here is what I propose.

We could add a new rule for those adverbs that normally come in the middle of a sentence: when to the sentence a word (usually "not") is added that negates the sentence as a whole, the adverb comes before the auxiliary verb. I'd say this only applies strictly if verb and negation are contracted, as in "do not" => "don't"; if they are not contracted, the adverb may sometimes, though not often, go between verb and negation as expected. I believe this depends on the verb: it should be "it is probably not", but "it probably does not".

(I mention the "sentence as a whole" because it doesn't apply to partial negations, as in "I told her not to come"; here the scope of "not" is only "to come": the "telling" itself is not negated. This as opposed to negating the entire sentence, such as "I clearly didn't tell her to come".)

As to the reason why this is so, I cannot say. I have a hunch that it has something to do with the scope of the negation. If you say "it won't probably rain", the word "probably" falls within the scope of the negation "-n't" because it comes after the negation. It is the same as saying: "it is not true that it will probably rain". However, what we really wanted to say is: "it is probably not true that it will rain"; here, "probably" comes before "not" and thus does not fall within its scope.

I can think of a dialogue:
A: "It will probably rain in Spain tomorrow."
B: "It won't probably rain: it will certainly rain! The weather forecast says: 100% chance of rain in Spain."

Here person B specifically wants to deny the truth of the word "probably": that is why he puts it in this unusual order. Note that the rules of the placement of adverbs only point to the most 'normal' order; in special cases, much greater variation in placement can be found.
Cerberus™
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Posts: 1363

How to use "probably"... #7 (permalink) Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:47 am   How to use "probably"...
 

Thank Cerberus for your clear explanation.

I would understand now.

The fact is that English has tons of rules and thousands of exceptions! :-)
_________________
Thank you very much,
Hieu Phan.

P/s: Please just correct if I'm wrong somewhere!
Hieupt
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 198
Location: Vietnam

How to use "probably"... #8 (permalink) Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:50 am   How to use "probably"...
 

I know, it sucks! I'm sorry I couldn't find a page that explains ALL the rules for placing adverbs into the finest details. I am not consciously aware of them myself.
Cerberus™
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Posts: 1363

How to use "probably"... #9 (permalink) Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:54 am   How to use "probably"...
 

Cerberus™ wrote:
I know, it sucks! I'm sorry I couldn't find a page that explains ALL the rules for placing adverbs into the finest details. I am not consciously aware of them myself.


Well, the most important rule is "there is no rule" and not everything is written in the books! :-)
Need to read more to gain the practical experiences! Thanks again!
_________________
Thank you very much,
Hieu Phan.

P/s: Please just correct if I'm wrong somewhere!
Hieupt
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 03 Mar 2009
Posts: 198
Location: Vietnam

How to use "probably"... #10 (permalink) Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:18 am   How to use "probably"...
 

The purpose of linguistics is finding out the complex rules behind our use of language. You'd be surprised to know how many rules have been established by scientists, on phenomena that you weren't even aware existed. However, sometimes these rules can be so complex that memorizing all instances one by one is easier than learning the rule. You are absolutely right that reading a lot will boost your skill in a way that learning rules cannot. Even so, you will no doubt agree that the combination of rules and practical experience trumps all.
Cerberus™
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Posts: 1363

How to use "probably"... #11 (permalink) Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:17 am   How to use "probably"...
 

Consequently, probably is probably?

Why is probably probably, then?
_________________
Love love love love co-co-nuts, I I I I Island.
Fimbriae
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 14 Sep 2009
Posts: 149
Location: Ceres

Display posts from previous:   
A handsome woman is it possible in modern English? | Read it once a day for 5 day straight
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1
Latest topics on English Forums
The chance to be an overnight success hardly ever comes up.Wrirting practise: Last night I read a story book written by a fantastic writerIf require or if requiredIs the poetic term 'wont' common?is ing form possible with modal verbs?About the past tense of the lexicon 'thaw.'Is this subject a Gerund? Verb/Subject AgreementThe lexicon 'depot.'Is water closet another saying of rest room?suck in one's cheeksWay too ambiguous on me.Apostrophe RuleDifference between will be and would be, can be and could be

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Subscribe to FREE email English course
First name E-mail