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Impossible, unlikely, even, likely and certain events (the probability number line).

Updated on March 28, 2012

In lower grade math questions a word can be used to describe the probability of an event happening.

If an event is never going to happen then you can describe the probability as impossible. For example, the probability of rolling a 7 on an ordinary dice would be impossible.

If an event has a small chance of happening then you can use the word unlikely to describe the probability. For example, the probability that the next car that will drive past your house will be green would be described as unlikely (since green cars are unpopular).

If an event has a fifty-fifty chance of happening then you can use the word even chance to describe the probability. For example, the probability that the next baby born will be a boy would be described as even chance.

If an event has a good chance of happening then you can use the word likely to describe the probability. For example, the probability of picking a number card from a deck of cards would be described as likely.

Finally, if an event is definitely going to happen then the probability will be described as certain to happen. For example, the probability of rolling any number from 1 to 6 on an ordinary dice would be described as certain to happen.

Let’s take a look at some more examples. Use a word to describe the probability of these events happening:

A: The probability of picking a King from a deck of cards.

This would be unlikely as there are only 4 Kings in a deck of cards.

B: The probability of rolling an even number on a dice.

This would be even chance as there equal amounts of odd and even numbers on a dice.

C: The probability that you will pass your next math test if you make lots of revision for the test.

This would be likely as you have put lots of effort into passing the test.

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