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I was looking at a dictionary for different senses of 'fortunate'. I found two examples and I don't get the difference between the two. Please help me.

  1. They were fortunate enough to escape injury when their car crashed.

Does this mean they escaped injury because they are were fortunate or does it mean they were fortunate because they had escaped injury?

  1. They were fortunate to escape injury when their car crashed.

Also, what's the difference between #1 and #2?

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    Fortunate enough to X = possessing luck in sufficient degree to achieve or do X. Fortunate to X is an absolute in which fortune or luck is not a matter of degree. Sep 3, 2016 at 13:41
  • Fortunate to X = their having achieved or done X is a stroke of good fortune. Sep 3, 2016 at 13:46
  • Is being lucky separable from the benefits of being lucky? Sep 3, 2016 at 13:50
  • I think the enough gets thrown in to highlight that the unfortunate accident had a bright side and in the balance a small degree of good fortune. I doubt there's much difference in meaning between most people's usage though.
    – shawnt00
    Sep 3, 2016 at 17:57
  • Can you cite the dictionary? I'm curious to see the definitions.
    – shawnt00
    Sep 3, 2016 at 17:58

1 Answer 1

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They were fortunate enough to escape injury when their car crashed.

They were lucky to the degree that they escaped injury at or during or just after the time that their car crashed. [If they were any LESS lucky, they would have been injured.]

They were fortunate to escape injury when their car crashed.

They were lucky to escape injury at or during or just after the time that their car crashed.

Does this mean they escaped injury because they are were fortunate or does it mean they were fortunate because they had escaped injury?

Does this mean they escaped injury for the reason that they are were fortunate or does it mean they were fortunate for the reason that they had escaped injury?

They were fortunate because they escaped injury, and they escaped injury because they were fortunate. My head touches the ceiling because my ceiling touches my head.

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  • Danton I didn't understand your explanation of the last part. It's is confusing. Please help me.
    – Policewala
    Sep 3, 2016 at 19:18

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