Would you please tell me if the following sentence is correct?

I will come and meet you at the first chance.

I'm confused about that last part. I've seen the idiom "at the first chance" before, but I'm not sure if I've used it properly in the sentence. If this isn't correct, please explain why.

As for context, I would be sending this to a professor in an email.

  • 2
    In that context, "at the first chance" is understandable, but it does seem a little awkward to me. I might suggest: I will come and meet you as soon as I can or I will come and meet you at my earliest opportunity. The latter is decidedly more formal than the former.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 0:01
  • 1
    We can reopen this question with a slight adjustment. Asking "Is this correct? If not, please improve it." is essentially asking us to proofread for you. But we can alter the question and make it acceptable. I'll do it this time (because you're new), and maybe you'll have a better idea of what to do with your next question. Notice how the revised question asks about the part where you're confused, and asks for an explanation, not a rewrite.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 9:18

3 Answers 3


At the first chance is occasionally found in contexts like this, but as J.R. suggests it is rare, and it feels alien to my ear. The Google Ngram below appears to corroborate this; as you see, chance occurs in print only about 5% as often as opportunity—and some of those occurrences are "false hits", things like He leapt at the first chance.

Note, however, that chance is considerably more frequent when it takes a complement such as at the first chance to meet you or a modifier such as at the first chance he got.

Nonetheless, I would avoid chance in these contexts and write opportunity instead:

I will come and meet you at the first opportunity.

Chance v Oppy Ngram


You can say, the exact way it's mentioned in the Dictionary...

I'll see you first thing tomorrow when I come.

But, I'm adding some other ways that we practice here, in InE.

I will come and meet you first
The first thing I'll do after I come is to meet you


I guess it's better to say "I will come and meet you the first chance I get"

I heard a sentence with the phrase, 'the first chance I get' in an episode of Big Bang Theory. Amy said, "(I’m) Surprised you even care if he likes you since you are planning on leaving the planet the first chance you get"

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