7

I think these sentences are grammatical:

Try this company on your own risk.
Read on your own risk.
Watch it on your own risk.

But then...

Parking at your own risk?

I'm confused using a preposition when it comes to our own risk. If I consider the preposition at emphasizing on parking (a place and hence at) but then here pre positioning is for 'own risk' and not the place (parking).

6

The choice of preposition has nothing to do with the word parking.

You can only do something at [a] risk, not *on [a] risk. Any of the following would be non-standard with *on in place of at:

  • put your family at risk
  • it's impossible to predict exactly which cities are at the greatest risk for hurricanes
  • becoming a lion tamer at the risk of being eaten by a lion
  • as a smoker, she is at high risk of developing lung cancer
  • jumping over Springfield Gorge at considerable risk to life and limb
  • high blood pressure puts you at risk for a stroke
  • he is an at-risk student
  • at great risk
  • at your own risk
  • they remain at substantial risk

The OED puts this use under "of conditioning circumstance", grouping at risk with such other combinations as at great expense, at an advantage, at a disadvantage, and at their peril.

Like many preposition combinations, this is one you'll have to memorize.


In this answer, the * symbol indicates non-standard English.

  • I see that * should be used as a prefix, and there is obvious justification for that. If ? replaces *, it won't be confused for punctuation, and a prefix gives the earliest indication (in the left to right sense) that the item is considered ungrammatical. – Kaz Dec 3 '13 at 22:12
  • @snailboat. huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/28/… where an American fisherman uses it. I think it's rarest rare case then. – Maulik V Dec 4 '13 at 4:22
  • @MaulikV Non-standard doesn't mean "no one ever says it". After all, a lot of people say "ain't", but it's considered non-standard anyway--it's not accepted by educated users of English as part of the standard language. Likewise, people use double negatives for emphasis all the time ("I ain't got no money" meaning "I have no money at all"), but this is non-standard as well. In any case, what the American fisherman has said there is quite rare; there's no reason why on wouldn't make sense, but nonetheless very few people say it that way and it's not accepted as standard. – snailcar Dec 4 '13 at 5:57
  • @snailboat. Okay, got it. That's what I said in my comment. It seems rarest rare (and thus, not a standard way). – Maulik V Dec 4 '13 at 11:43
3

The phrase is fixed as at your own risk; native English speakers will almost never say "on your own risk":

enter image description here

  • 5
    This is also the first time I heard "on your own risk". A confusion with "on your own", maybe? Remembering the phrase "at risk" might help. – Damkerng T. Dec 3 '13 at 6:53
  • Nope, not confused with 'on your own'. I have observed this in speeches/statements. > wattpad.com/… >huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/28/… - though this is the statement but spoken by an American. In fact, the news is about American fishermen. – Maulik V Dec 3 '13 at 7:16
  • I just googled "on your own risk" (with quotation marks), and I got over 300 million results. That says something. ("at your own risk" returned 800 million results.) Is this a new trend? – Damkerng T. Dec 3 '13 at 7:31
  • 3
    Some native speaker told me (and he's right!) stop believing Google unless it's Google Books. It's flooded with an odd dialect of English! :( – Maulik V Dec 3 '13 at 7:35
  • 3
    @DamkerngT. Be careful with Google's hit count - it's incredibly approximate, and based on something like the linear addition of the number of results for each word in turn. For me, I get told there's 201million results for "on your own risk", but 32 pages into actually listing the results, Google runs out, so I suspect the 201m number is not a good number to rely on. – Matt Dec 3 '13 at 8:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.