1

This sentence is from a TOEFL material:

According to the news report, this investment by the company will likely provide a major boost to the economy because it will lead to the development of new technologies for export.

I usually put preposition to after the adverb likely, but here in this sentence, the word clearly hasn't been used that way.

Now I'm confused about when to put preposition to after the adverb likely.

Will this sentence still be grammatical if I put preposition to after the adverb likely? If so, why then is the preposition to omitted in this sentence?

  • @JasonBassford Thank you for your advice:) then "will likely" is special exception in the grammar? Also, reference to your advice, can I change the sentence like -> ~company will be likely to provide a major boost~? – Belle Jun 5 '18 at 4:58
  • @JasonBassford wow thankyou! I have never known that "likely" can function as adverb(I should see carefully when I look up grammar section in Cambridge..) – Belle Jun 5 '18 at 5:26
  • I realized I'd said enough in comments to turn them into an actual answer. :) – Jason Bassford Jun 5 '18 at 5:38
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Although was likely to and is likely to are normal, the specific construction of will likely to is ungrammatical—which is why it's not used in the TOEFL example.

You can use to with the construction will be likely to, but while it's understandable, it's not as common and there's no reason for the extra words.

The Cambridge Dictionary discusses the use of likely, as well as other instances where it is not followed by to, and specifically refers to will likely:

In American English, and more and more in British English, likely is used as a mid-position adverb (like probably in British English), most commonly between will and a main verb:

The new regulations will likely result in many people losing their jobs.

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