# “Probable” vs. “Likely”; Choosing the Appropriate Word

In some school textbooks, before introducing the probability as a number between $0$ and $1$, the words "likely", "More likely", "less likely" etc. are used to indicate the likelihood of an event. Why are these words chosen and not the words "probable", "more probable", "less probable"? Is it intentional to avoid words having common origin with the word "probability"?

• Just to me, "likely" feels like a gut instinct word, while "probable" feels like careful reasoning. "Likely" may be intended to link to people's instinctual understanding of when things are likely or not. – Richard Feb 20 '15 at 12:33
• I agree Richard. To me using probable creates an image about the chance of a single event happening or not. Likely has an inbuilt comparison of two competing events somehow. That's just the connotations I attach with the words. – Karl Feb 20 '15 at 16:42