Likelihood / probability / unlikely

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Redfield

Senior Member
UK
Spanish-Chile
Do all the sentences convey the same meaning? And, are all of them grammatical?

1. The likelihood of a recession looming in a country is low.
2. The likelihood of our country sinking into a recession is low.
3. The probability of a recession to hit our country is low.
4. It's unlikely that a recession looms in our country.
5. It's unlikely that our country sinks into a recession.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A crisis either looms (appears to be imminent, threatens, hangs over us) or it doesn’t. You can’t predict that it will loom, when the looming is a sort of prediction in itself.

    Sinking into recession is what might happen after that prospect had been looming for a while.
     

    The pianist

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Do all the sentences convey the same meaning? And, are all of them grammatical?

    1. The likelihood of a recession looming in a country is low.
    2. The likelihood of our country sinking into a recession is low.
    3. The probability of a recession to hit our country is low.
    4. It's unlikely that a recession looms in our country.
    5. It's unlikely that our country sinks into a recession.
    All five sentences are grammatically correct and usable. You could read either one of them on the financial pages of a newspaper any day of the week. "The likelihood" is essentially the same as "the probability".

    A recession is 'looming' after two successive quarters of a declining GDP. If the first quarter is bad financially, and the second quarter appears to be no better, then a recession is definitely looming.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both 2 and 4 are possible, but 3 and 5 don’t work (in BE anyway), and 1 is somewhat illogical.

    3. The probability of a recession to hit our country is low. :confused:
    3. The probability of a recession hitting our country is low. :tick:

    5. It's unlikely that our country sinks into a recession. :thumbsdown:
    5. It's unlikely that our country will sink/is sinking into recession. :tick:
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    For me, "likelihood" sounds like an intuitive guess whereas "probability" sounds like a statistical model was used to predict it.
     
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