Preposition Review #1: Chance of vs. Chance for
The noun chance comes from Latin cadentia: falling. Chance is how events “fall out.”
The word chance has several meanings in English. This post is concerned with chance followed by the prepositions of and for:
chance noun: opportunity
chance noun: possibility or probability
When the meaning of chance is opportunity, the preposition that follows is for:
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.—Oprah Winfrey
Last Chance for Public’s Input on 42nd St. Corridor Project
Entrepreneurs see a chance for profit in niche crowd-funding websites
The theme of this year’s MES/MOM conference is “Cloudy with a Chance for Profits.”
When the meaning of chance is possibility or probability, the preposition that follows is of:
Egypt Says 90% Chance of Hidden Rooms in King Tut’s Tomb
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is an American children’s book written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett.
Los Angeles warned to brace itself for a ‘big one’: Nasa says there is a 99.9% chance of a 5.0 earthquake in the next three years
Weekly weather forecast: Cold, some chance of snow
In the following examples, the preposition that follows the word chance depends upon whether the intended meaning is probability, possibility, or opportunity:
Your chance of success will be higher if you’re born here (probability)
Investing in children increases their chance for success (opportunity).
Feldman: There’s no chance of restoring Egyptian democracy (possibility)
Note: Chance meaning opportunity may be also be followed by an infinitive. For example, “Turkey’s president sees the Paris climate summit as a chance to mend ties with Russia. In this case, the to is not a preposition, but part of the infinitive.
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