adverbials of probability


Adverbials of probability

We use adverbials of probability to show how certain we are about something. The most frequent adverbials of probability are:

certainly - definitely - maybe - possibly
clearly - obviously - perhaps - probably

maybe and perhaps usually come at the beginning of the clause:

Perhaps the weather will be fine.
Maybe it won’t rain.

Other adverbs of possibility usually come in front of the main verb:

He is certainly coming to the party.
Will they definitely be there?
We will possibly come to England next year.

but after am, is, are, was, were:

They are definitely at home.
She was obviously very surprised.



Question 6 above: Maybe we should start again.
is again an an adverbial of time? if yes, is it frequency?

Hello grammar2015,

'Again' is an adverb of time, which includes adverbs of frequency. Strictly, 'again' tells us that something has been done before, but does not answer the question 'how often' and, therefore, does not describe frequency. However, please remember that these are semantic categories rather than grammatical categories, so they overlap and are quite subjective. I wouldn't worry overly about whether or not the name 'adverb of frequency' is appropriate; the important thing is that it is an adverb and that you are clear on the meaning.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


I don't Understand what you mean with. " but in after am, is, are, was, were"
Please, could you explain it to me.

Hello nicoll.velastegui,

This was a mistake on our part – the word 'in' should not have been there. We're sorry if that caused you any confusion. It has now been corrected thanks to you!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, in question number 8 of adverbials of probability exercise.
Can it be "I possibly can't refuse." I'm not quite understand "I can't possibly refuse."
If "can't" and "refuse" are separate. Then I can't see if "possibly" is describe which word.

Hello noomneem,

Here it's not a case of any sort of semantic logic, but rather a rule. Adverbs of probability and certainty (such as 'possibly') usually go in mid-position, which means that they go after auxiliary verbs. 'can't' is a modal auxiliary verb, and so 'possibly' should come after it: 'I can't possibly refuse' is correct.

By the way, adverbs of probability and certainty go before a one-part verb (e.g. He certainly looks upset) unless it is the verb 'be', which they go after (e.g. She's probably at home).

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Nobody is surrounding to me to speak English with me, even though I practice on own myself, I speak daily routine sentences but I don't understand, am I speaking in right way or not? is there any way to find that my sentences are correct or not?

Hello Amit,

I think the only way to really get correction for your speaking is to have a local teacher who can work with you.  However, remember that correction, while it can be helpful, is by no means essential when you are learning to speak (in contrast to, for example, write in) a language.  Most children learn to speak their first language with little or no correction from their parents.  Provided that you are, as you say, practising producing the language, and provided also that you have access to good models to listen to and emulate, you should be able to make progress even without correction.

Try to use the audio and video materials here on LearnEnglish as models.  Use the transcripts and try saying them aloud after you have listened to the original; then try saying them at the same time as listening so you can try to copy the speed and rhythm of the original version.

Best wishes and good luck!



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi English team  ,
I need your help !
My English is not good . especially bad in grammar . I have a question .
There are two sentences below  which one is right ?
I am lying in my bed !
I am lying on my bed !