I was insecure about which verb use in this sentence between: allowed, eligible, permit and be able.

Only people who bought tickets were ___ to win a prize.

It has been told me from some English Natives (AmE) that eligible it's the one that would fit better in this context, the others would sound weird, they haven't told me why. Could you please clarify to me this doubt? Sometimes when you choose the wrong verb you can listen to the phrase and understand that it's not the best in that context because it sounds bad when you pronounce it, but this time, the phrase with the other options: allowed, be able to and permit, sounds good to me.

What's wrong?

1 Answer 1


You can be allowed or permitted to do something, but neither of these logically fits your sentence. If the prize(s) are for a competition that people have to pay to enter, you wouldn't expect someone who hadn't paid to be 'allowed' to win. They are eligible to win because they have bought tickets.

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