When you describe an opportunity, which one is correct?

"When the right opportunity comes up, I shall take it."
"When the right opportunity comes along, I shall take it."

I wrote the first sentence in an English Language exam, but my teacher told me the second one was the correct answer. I still don't understand why, but I don't want to make silly mistakes in future. Can anyone help me?

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    – Tsundoku
    Jul 2, 2021 at 8:43
  • There's some small nuance difference between the two, but both sound natural to me. In the exam, was there a context that might make "come up" incorrect? Did your English teacher explain why the first sentence is incorrect?
    – gotube
    Jul 2, 2021 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


I doubt there's a formal grammatical difference that would grant saying "that's definitely wrong".

In context, I would use "opportunities that come up" if you're sitting around waiting for opportunities and one unexpectedly present itself; I would say "any opportunity that comes along" if you're actively searching for them, and find one.

Again, this might be grammatically irrelevant, but I suspect your teacher told you that the correct answer is "comes along" simply because it sounds better and it's more commonly used in conversation.

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