Which one of the following is correct? and which one is idiomatic?

  1. This is because a proper education will enhance the chances of women reaching high-level positions, consequently, the percentage of female senior managers will increase eventually.

  2. This because a proper education will enhance women's chances of reaching high-level positions................

  3. This because a proper education will enhance the chances of women to reach high-level positions................


3 Answers 3


The three phrases:

  1. the chances of women reaching high-level positions
  2. women's chances of reaching high-level positions
  3. the chances of women to reach high-level positions

are all correct. The first two are equivalent, while the third has a similar but not exactly the same meaning. "Chances of reaching" (#2 and equivalently #1) describes a probability of a random event, or statistical frequency. "Chance to reach" (#3) describes an opportunity, or a path that may be pursued by choice. (More on this difference)

The difference between the first two sentences seems to be a matter of style or preferred emphasis. The third one may be more adequate semantically due to the beginning of the sentence - education does indeed create more opportunity, so it enhances women's chances to reach (...) (and statistically it increases the chances of them reaching (...) - it is a subtle difference).

The first suggested sentence seems incorrect in another aspect - using "consequently" as a conjunction. Compound sentences with "and consequently" are more common (see here and here for examples). Alternatively, "consequently" can be used as a conjunctive adverb starting a new sentence (like "alternatively" in this one) or preceded by a semicolon.

If any of the other sentences (which are incomplete) is different in that aspect, that might be a reason to prefer it over the first one.


None of them are really idiomatic, per se. However, the third one seems grammatically incorrect. You shouldn't say:

the chances to reach

Instead, your first example works fine:

the chances of reaching

Your second example also works fine. Truly, you can say either the first or second, but avoid the third because it doesn't work, grammatically...

  • 1
    What is wrong with "the chances to reach"? You can say "she has a chance to reach a high-level position", it is about as common as "a chance of reaching". Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 5:55
  • 1
    @laugh - Yes, you can. But you can't say "the chances of her to reach a high-level position." First of all, it sounds awkward. Second of all, it probably sounds awkward because it's not grammatically correct! Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 13:24

1 & 2 both seem acceptable, but 2 reads more elegantly, possibly because of the alliteration created with women's chances.

These sentences are complex and have many multi-syllable words - it may help the reader therefore, to go with the option that reads more easily, with more natural breathing.

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