1

Could you tell me if it's correct and natural to say what chance do you give to... meaning what do you think is the chance of something happening? For example:

Person A: What chance do you give to the pandemic being over by the summer?

Person B: I give it a 100 percent chance.

If that is not the most natural way to ask that, what is most natural then?

5
  • 2
    I don't think What chance do you give is particularly "natural" for Anglophones when asking for a specific numerical "likelihood" value in this way (whether expecting some "percentage" between 0% and 100%, or a "fractional" value like a one-in-five chance). We tend to phrase such questions as How likely is it that X will happen?, How likely [do you think] it is that X will happen? or What [do you think] are the chances that X will happen? Jan 4, 2021 at 17:56
  • Do you want a percentage as an answer? Or would you like odds? The "do you give" portion of your query might indicate that you might be asking what a person might bet, and if that's what you are after "What odds would you give on the pandemic being over by summer?" would be natural.
    – Dave X
    Jan 4, 2021 at 21:14
  • Yes, thanks! I'd like a percentage as an answer. If want a percentage for an answer, will "what odds would you give on" work? Jan 4, 2021 at 21:32
  • No, if you ask "What odds would you give?" your answer will be something like "twenty to one". To get a percentage, I think you'd have to ask for it. More natural would be to say "On a scale of one to ten, how likely do you think...?" Feb 18, 2021 at 9:42
  • 1
    It's completely understandable and a common way to ask the question. You may not get a percentage as the answer. Answers could include none, slim, fifty fifty, pretty good, or seventy three percent, etc. depending on who is answering. And, depending on who is answering, you may never get a percentage back no matter how you ask the question. My mother would not provide a percentage unless you added something like, and I'm looking for a percentage like 40 percent or 80 percent.
    – EllieK
    Jun 30 at 15:49

1 Answer 1

1

'to' or 'for' would be fine. Either doesn't read as odd to me.

How likely is it that the pandemic is over by summer?

or

What are the chances for the pandemic being over by the summer?

as options, but not "better". Chance vs chances ... I think both can be used provided verb agreement is handled. I like your wording a little better than any of mine.

3
  • Thank you for the answer? I wanted to clearify something. So "what chance do you give to the pandemic being over?" sounds all right to you, am I right? Jan 4, 2021 at 17:53
  • 2
    No. (See my comment above! :) Jan 4, 2021 at 17:58
  • Asking for a numeric "chance" doesn't make sense in English when there aren't hard facts to calculate an actual fact-based chance. A yes/no question would be just as valid or a scaled not likely at all --- neutral --- highly likely if you want someone to guess.
    – JohnP
    Feb 16, 2021 at 19:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .