When you ask for opinions about future probability, you usually use will + base form or be going to + base form. However, there are other alternatives that are also common in spoken English.
In the table below, you can find a collection of useful phrases and expressions that will help you convey future probabilities with confidence. The table includes various patterns and grammar structures, including modal verbs like “will” and “might,” as well as phrases such as “there’s a good chance” and “I’m sure of it.”
|will/be going to||will/going to + base form||Expresses future events or actions without indicating certainty||“I will go to the party tomorrow.”|
“What do you think they‘re going to do about it?
|Definitely||will definitely + base form||Indicates a high level of certainty or confidence in a future event||“She will definitely win the race. She’s the fastest runner.”|
|I’m sure||be sure of something|
be sure + subject + will + base form
|Indicates strong confidence or certainty in a future outcome||“I’m sure it will rain today. The sky is cloudy.”|
|I’m bound to||be bound to + base form||Suggests a high likelihood or inevitability of a future event||“If you keep practicing, you’re bound to improve your skills.”|
|There’s a good chance||There’s a good chance + subject + will + base form||Indicates a favorable probability or possibility of something||“There’s a good chance she will get the job. She has relevant experience.”|
|Fairly likely to||be fairly likely to + base form||Expresses a moderate probability or likelihood of a future event||“He is fairly likely to pass the exam. He studied hard.”|
|Might||might + base form||Suggests a possibility or a lower level of certainty in the future||“I might go to the concert if I can get tickets.”|
|There’s a chance something will/won’t happen||Phrase||Indicates the existence of a possibility or an unlikelihood||“There’s a chance it will rain tomorrow. Bring an umbrella.”|
|Unlikely||be unlikely that + somebody/ something + will + base form||Expresses a low probability or unlikelihood of a future event||“It‘s unlikely that he will arrive on time. He’s always late.”|
|There’s only a small chance that something will happen||Phrase||Indicates a very low probability or likelihood of something||“There’s only a small chance they will cancel the event. It’s well-organized.”|
|Doubt somebody will do something||doubt + subject + will + base form||Expresses skepticism or lack of belief in a future event||“I doubt they will win the competition. Their performance wasn’t strong enough.”|
|Doubt something will happen||doubt it will + base form||Indicates skepticism or lack of belief in a future outcome||“I doubt it will snow tomorrow. The weather forecast says it’ll be sunny.”|
|To be not the first person but definitely not the last||be not the first person + base form, but definitely not the last||Implies a level of certainty or confidence, although not the highest||“I’m not the first person to say it, but definitely not the last – he’s talented.”|
|Bound to||be bound to + base form||Suggests a high probability or inevitability of a future event||“With her skills, she is bound to succeed in her career.”|
|Hope so||Phrase||Expresses desire or optimism about a future outcome||“I hope so! I really want to win the competition.”|
|Think so||Phrase||Expresses a belief or opinion that something will happen||“I think so. Based on the evidence, he is likely to be promoted.”|
|Not think so||Phrase||Expresses a belief or opinion that something will not happen||“I don’t think so. It’s unlikely they will change their decision.”|
- Imagine what life will be like in ten years’ time.
- Spin the wheel and discuss each statement on the spinning wheel
- Express how likely you think each will be.
- Negotiate where to place the statement next to the thermometer of probability, with high temperature meaning It’ll definitely … and cold temperatures meaning It definitely won’t … .
- Try to use a range of phrases during their negotiations.