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For example, doing well in school ____ future success. Predict doesn't have a positive connotation, like presage and portend have a negative one.

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    "presage" doesn't have a negative connotation. One of the examples in Merriam-Webster is "the sight of the first robin is always a welcome presage of spring". – Stuart F Sep 30 at 11:21
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Doing well in school promises future success.

'To promise' can be used even if the outcome is not certain:

4: to suggest beforehand : give promise of
dark clouds promise rain

(source: Merriam-Webster

and (when used with positive 'arguments') it has a more positive connotation than 'to predict'.

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