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  1. #1
    Daruma is offline Senior Member
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    Default not have a prayer

    Hello.


    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    prayer
    5 [singular] informal : a slight chance of doing or getting something —usually used in negative statements
    ▪ No one thought the team had a prayer (of winning).
    ▪ “Do you think he'll get the job.” “No. He doesn't have a prayer.

    He doesn't have a prayer.
    1. Do you say "He doesn't have a prayer of it" instead?
    2. Would it be okay to say any of the following sentences instead?
    - He doesn't have absolutely no hope.
    - He doesn't have absolutely no hope of it.
    - He doesn't stand a ghost of a chance.
    - He doesn't stand a ghost of a chance of it.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: not have a prayer

    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    prayer
    5 [singular] informal : a slight chance of doing or getting something —usually used in negative statements
    ▪ No one thought the team had a prayer (of winning).
    ▪ “Do you think he'll get the job.” “No. He doesn't have a prayer.

    He doesn't have a prayer.
    1. Do you say "He doesn't have a prayer of it" instead?

    You would probably specify "of what" he has no prayer the first time it came up, or if the context didn't make it clear.
    But it's not an obligatory part of the expression.

    "Think we'll win?"
    "Not a chance."
    "Not even a prayer?"
    "Nope."

    ----------------------------------------------

    2. Would it be okay to say any of the following sentences instead?
    - He doesn't have absolutely no hope.
    - He doesn't have absolutely no hope of it.

    These two are absolutely wrong.
    They both contain a double negative.
    This usage is heard only from really uneducated speakers.

    You have to say:

    "He has absolutely no hope."
    "He has absolutely no hope (of something specific, not "it."

    or

    "He doesn't have a hope."
    "He doesn't have a prayer."
    "He doesn't have a chance."

    ------------------------------------------------

    - He doesn't stand a ghost of a chance.
    This is okay.

    - He doesn't stand a ghost of a chance of it.
    The use of "of it" at the end doesn't seem quite right.

    If the speakers already know the topic, then adding "of it" is superfluous.
    If they don't know the topic, the sentence has to state it specifically.

    "He doesn't stand a chance of hitting a homer."
    "True. Not a ghost of a chance."

    "Do you think he'll hit a homer?"
    "Nope. He doesn't stand a chance."
    ------------------------------------------------------


    Daruma -- these images are GREAT!!


    [

  3. #3
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: not have a prayer

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.



    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    prayer
    5 [singular] informal : a slight chance of doing or getting something —usually used in negative statements
    ▪ No one thought the team had a prayer (of winning).
    ▪ “Do you think he'll get the job.” “No. He doesn't have a prayer.

    He doesn't have a prayer.
    1. Do you say "He doesn't have a prayer of it" instead?
    2. Would it be okay to say any of the following sentences instead?
    - He doesn't have absolutely no hope. Double negative. He has absolutely no hope, or he doesn't have any hope.
    - He doesn't have absolutely no hope of it. Again, a double negative. He doesn't have any hope of it. Or, he has absolutely no hope of it.
    - He doesn't stand a ghost of a chance.
    - He doesn't stand a ghost of a chance of it.

    Thank you.

    I am not a teacher.


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