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I'm learning English in Korea.

I'd like to know if the following sentence is natural.

The more often you wash your hands, the less you get the possibility of catching a cold.

When I saw that sentence at first, I thought the part with 'the less...' should be corrected like 'the less possibility of catching a cold you get.'

I hope you could give me some guides. Thanks~~

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  • 5
    "... the less likely you are to catch a cold."
    – MT_Head
    Jun 22, 2014 at 6:44

1 Answer 1

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The sentence is certainly understandable, but there seems to be a problem with this part:

the less you get the possibility

Words about probability (chance, possibility, likelihood, etc.) can be tricky to use grammatically.

I would reword it like this:

The more often you wash your hands, the less likely you are to catch a cold.

Another way to word it would be:

The more often you wash your hands, the lower your likelihood of catching a cold.

As a rule of thumb, use more and less with adverbs like often or likely; use lower and greater with nouns like likelihood or chances.

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