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I was correcting a question on another SE site and found the following sentence, which immediately stroke me as odd:

There's no risk to use falda in singular, even if there are more than one person involved.

My correction was as follows1:

There's no risk in using falda in singular, even if there is more than one person involved.

But then I started thinking it over and wasn't so sure about my correction anymore, so I looked up several alternatives and found the following patterns:

With Birch in command, there's no risk of compromise, mercy or compassion. [Collins]

There's no risk of Ebola spreading in Europe. [The Local]

Australia: Heath Minister says there is “no risk in vaccinating children” [Before It's News]

RFU says there is 'no risk' in giving head coach Stuart Lancaster a new six-year contract through to 2020. [The Telegraph]

For example, the French Penal Code sets out a duty to rescue where there is no risk to an individual, in Section 63. [Wikipedia]

Europe's regulators have confirmed that there is no risk to consumers from BPA-based food contact materials. [Bisphenol A]

So this is what I gather:

  • No risk of X: there's no risk X will happen
  • No risk in X: X doesn't entail any risk
  • No risk to X: there's no risk X will be damaged

Am I correct? Are there any other prepositions I can use after "there's no risk", or any situations where the expressions above mean something different?


1: FWIW, what the OP meant was that it is safe to use falda (skirt) in singular even when the speaker is talking about more than one person wearing a skirt because context generally disambiguates.

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  • Your understanding is correct re risk {in, of, to}. Sometimes for will be used instead of to, with the same sense. Apr 29, 2016 at 10:28
  • @TRomano Thanks. So I just found this: There is no risk to providing a saliva sample [CDH Genetics]. Does that mean the same as There is no risk in providing a saliva sample? Is there any reason why "to" was used instead of "in"?
    – Yay
    Apr 29, 2016 at 10:33
  • There's no reason to choose to over in there. Apr 29, 2016 at 10:40

1 Answer 1

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I think your correction is justified. The examples of "risk to" have different structure and meaning from the original text.

"No risk to X" means "damage to X is unlikely". "To" is a proposition here.

But the original text is "*There's no risk to use falda" - "to" is linked with "use" (forming an infinitive), and the sentence does not refer to "damage to use falda".

Your suggested correction

There's no risk in using falda in singular, even if there is more than one person involved.

Is definitely better than the original. Alternatively, you could change "using" to "the use of".

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