More likely?


Senior Member
When used at the beginning of a sentence, what does "more likely" mean? Probably?

At first glance, this might seem to confirm the cynical suspicion that getting ahead in a
career is more about politics than performance. More likely, though, the results confirm that
performance is in the eye of the beholder. Subordinates rate their boss primarily on criteria
310 Reframing Organizations internal to the unit—effective communications and treating people well. Bosses, on the
other hand, focus on how well a manager handles relations to external constituents,
including, of course, the bosses themselves.

Source: Reframing Organizations
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    You have two options here
    a/ the results confirm the cynical suspicion that....
    b/ the results confirm that performance is...

    You are not sure which of these two you are facing, but you believe b/ is more likely than a/. Maybe the chances are 60/40 or 70/30, the way you see it. In other words, you are comparing the likelihood of the two possibilities.

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "More likely" at the beginning of a sentence means that the thing that follows is more likely (has a higher probability of being true) than any of the alternatives previously mentioned. It does not necessarily mean "probably", unless there are only two options.

    Note that "more likely" does not necessarily introduce the most likely option, as there may be further options yet to be mentioned that have a higher probability.
    < Previous | Next >