Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Monday December 2, 2013

probable, adjective:
probable, likely

It may seem self-evident that probable is the translation of probable, but just as often likely will be a better choice, depending on the noun:

una fractura probable de las costillas
a probable fracture of the ribs

un probable candidato
a likely candidate

en el caso probable de que triunfen*
in the likely event of their winning

el sucesor probable del Presidente
the President’s likely successor

And sometimes the English will sound more natural if you translate by changing the whole structure of the sentence. For instance, by replacing the combination of probable and existencia in the following with it was highly likely:

Revelaron la más que probable existencia de restos aún más antiguos bajo la muralla romana.
They revealed that it was highly likely that even older remains existed under the Roman wall.

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