Grammar Guru: Predictions

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Last week: I’m ready to leave to go on a trip, so I say

  • I am going to Poznań this weekend. (80%, 16 Votes)
  • I will go to Poznań this weekend. (20%, 4 Votes)
  • I go to Poznań this weekend. (0%, 0 Votes)
    More here.

This week: Which of these predictions is correct English and most probable?

  • It could freeze next week
  • It’s likely to freeze next week.
  • It might freeze next week.
  • It’s probable to freeze next week.

Comments

2 Responses

  1. The last variation is incorrect English. But what about the other three? Only one expresses probability, and two express possibility. Do you know which?

    It’s likely to freeze next week. (I think it will freeze, it usually does.)
    It could freeze next week. (Perhaps it will freeze, but I’m not sure.)
    It might freeze next week. (Perhaps it will freeze, but I’m not sure.)

    On the other hand, you’re more likely to hear “It might freeze next week” than “It’s likely to freeze”. We use “might” more often!

    By the way, recently there was a very interesting discussion on “might” in one of my favorite grammar blogs:
    http://motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/when-may-might-be-right
    “Might” can express hope that something will happen, e.g. “We might get lucky and have a white Christmas!” But is that really probable?

  2. Which prediction is correct and most probable?

    * It’s likely to freeze next week. (50%, 10 Votes) correct + most probable!
    * It might freeze next week. (40%, 8 Votes) Good! Always be ready for what might happen.
    * It’s probable to freeze next week. (10%, 2 Votes)
    * It could freeze next week. (0%, 0 Votes) Good! It could, but will it?

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