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English Grammar and Writing Tips:
     Using "Chance" and "Opportunity" Correctly

Grammar <<< English Grammar and Writing Tips <<< Using "Chance" and "Opportunity"


Chance

We say: "someone has a (good) chance of doing something (passing an examination, winning a competition, etc.)":

Do you think our son has a chance of passing the examination? (correct)
Do you think our son has an opportunity of passing the examination? (incorrect!)

Our team have a very good chance of winning the competition. (correct)
Our team have a very good opportunity of winning the competition. (incorrect!)

We can also say "any/no/little/much chance":

I don't think I have much chance of finding a good flat near my office. (correct)
I don't think I have much opportunity of finding a good flat near my office. (incorrect!)

Is there any chance of you lending me this book for a month? (correct)
Is there any opportunity of you lending me this book for a month? (incorrect!)

Karen has no chance of passing the test. (correct)
Karen has no opportunity of passing the test. (incorrect!)

Note that we say: "What are the chances of something (happening)?"

What are the chances of succeeding in any other country (abroad)? (correct)
What are the opportunities of succeeding in any other country (abroad)? (incorrect!)

Jack has injured in a car accident but the doctors say that he has a very good chance of recovering completely. (correct)
Jack has injured in a car accident but the doctors say that he has a very good opportunity of recovering completely. (incorrect!)

And also: "there is a chance of something (happening)" or "there is a chance that something will happen"

There isn't much chance of finding a good job after I finish high school. (correct)
There isn't much opportunity of finding a good job after I finish high school. (incorrect!)

My husband doesn't think there is much chance of raising his salary. (correct)
My husband doesn't think there is much opportunity of raising his salary. (incorrect!)

There is a chance that I'll be at an international conference next week chance of coming together. (correct)
There is a opportunity that I'll be at an international conference next week chance of coming together. (incorrect!)

We use "chance to do something" when chance=time or opportunity to do something (chance of -ing is less usual with this meaning)

I met an old friend last week but we didn't have much chance to talk to each other. (correct)

- Have you cleaned your room? - No, mom, I didn't have a chance to do it today. (correct)
- Have you cleaned your room? - No, mom, I didn't have an opportunity to do it today. (correct)

Opportunity to do something

We normally say "opportunity to do something (opportunity of -ing is also possible)"

I have the opportunity to work abroad for a year. Do you think I should go? (correct)
I have the opportunity of working abroad for a year. Do you think I should go? (correct)

[I have the chance to work abroad for a year. Do you think I should go? (correct)]

I'd like to have the opportunity to travel the world? (correct)
I'd like to have the opportunity of traveling the world? (correct)

[I'd like to have the chance to travel the world? (correct)]

We can also say: any/no/little/much/plenty of/more opportunity

I don't think there is much opportunity to go to Spain in the near future. (correct)

I don't think there is much chance of my going to Spain in the near future. (correct)

I live near a tennis court and a swimming pool, so I have plenty of opportunity to go playing tennis and swimming.(correct)

My sister live now in England, so she has much opportunity to speak English. (=much chance to speak) (correct)

- Do you go to the cinema very often?
- No, I don't have much opportunity to go to the cinema. (correct)

Where I live there is plenty of opportunity to do sport andrecreation. (correct)

We do not say "possibility to do something":

Our daughter has the opportunity to study in Canada next year. (not "possibility to study") (correct)





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