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  1. Er hat wohl Recht über die Zu-Wortstellung.
    He is probably right about the zu-construction.

  2. Wo ging er hin? - Er ging wahrscheinlich in die Kneipe, um einen heben.
    Where did he go? - He probably went to the pub to have a drink.

Can I use wahrscheinlich instead of wohl?
Are "wohl" and "wahrscheinlich" interchangeable?

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yea, wohl can be used that way, also according to Duden. Personally, I'd say wohl is more colloquial here.

Side note: It must be

Er ging wahrscheinlich in die Kneipe, um einen zu heben.

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Fully agreeing to PMF's answer I'd like to add that those two words are not synonyms in the common sense.

Although they are exchangeable in the context given by the OP, they are not anymore if used with the adverb sehr.

As sehr wahrscheinlich means what expected, that is most probably, so still not really sure, using sehr wohl simply means sure in an achknowleding sense.

So sehr wahrscheinlich and sehr wohl are not the same.

Er ging sehr wahrscheinlich in die Kneipe, ...

He most probably went to the pub, ...


Er ging sehr wohl in die Kneipe, ...

He did go to the pub, ...

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Er hat wohl Recht über die Zu-Wortstellung.

You can but don't have to write 'recht' in this case, especially in connection with wohl. The use of wohl also implies a grade of uncertainty and can be translated as 'likely.' In this sentence, I would use wahrscheinlich instead.

Wo ging er hin? Er ging wahrscheinlich in die Kneipe, um einen[zu] heben. [meaning last word??]

Better: Wohin ging er?

Regarding interchangeability see last answer.

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"You can but don't have to write 'recht' in this case..." You mean to say Er hat wohl über die Zu-Wortstellung. would be correct? In case yes, you are wrong. –  alk Dec 30 '13 at 16:14
    
How do you say ' you are probably right about the zu-construction'? –  DerPolyglott33 Dec 30 '13 at 17:49
    
Er hat wohl recht and Er hat wahrscheinlich recht mean usually two different things though the latter is in everyday German the colloquial way to say the first. –  Roman Dec 31 '13 at 7:01
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