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  1. #1
    Julie17 is offline Junior Member
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    Default have the possibility

    I have always told my students that the expression 'to have the possibility' sounds German and that you 'have an option, a chance, an opportunity or even fun', but 'there is a possibilty'... But today when browsing the OALD, I found 'have the possibilty of succeeding' as the definition of 'with a chance of doing'. So have I been wrong all along?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: have the possibility

    I see nothing wrong with "have the possibility".

  3. #3
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    Default Re: have the possibility

    It is frequently used by non-natives when it would be better to say "to have the chance" or "can". Examples from my Spanish-speaking students:

    - I have the possibility to go to England this summer.
    - Do you have the possibility to teach more students this year?
    - Do you have the possibility to teach my brother on a Monday evening?

    Sometimes it's correct and sometimes it's not.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #4
    Julie17 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: have the possibility

    Sometimes it's correct and sometimes it's not.[/QUOTE]

    Have you got any idea how to explain to a non-native speaker when it's right and when it's wrong?

  5. #5
    Julie17 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: have the possibility

    Can anybody give me some examples when using this expression is correct in [B]British[B] English, please?

  6. #6
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: have the possibility

    Probably not, because the construction is unnatural to BE speakers such as ems and me.

    See ems's post for suggestions of more colloquial alternatives.

    Rover

  7. #7
    Julie17 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: have the possibility

    But ems said:"Sometimes it's correct and sometimes it's not."
    And what about the quote from the OALD?

  8. #8
    Julie17 is offline Junior Member
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    Question Re: have the possibility

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It is frequently used by non-natives when it would be better to say "to have the chance" or "can". Examples from my Spanish-speaking students:

    - I have the possibility to go to England this summer.
    - Do you have the possibility to teach more students this year?
    - Do you have the possibility to teach my brother on a Monday evening?

    Sometimes it's correct and sometimes it's not.

    I hope I'm right to assume that your examples are not correct. They are similar to the ones my students often use.
    But in which cases is 'have the possibilty' correct? I'd really like to know.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: have the possibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Julie17 View Post
    I hope I'm right to assume that your examples are not correct. They are similar to the ones my students often use.
    It's not that they are 'not correct'. It is just that few native speakers of BrE would ever utter them
    But in which cases is 'have the possibilty' correct? I'd really like to know.
    It is rarely the most natural way of expressing the thought. Don't forget that dictionaries often use an economical way of defining words, not necessarily a model of natural English.

  10. #10
    Julie17 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: have the possibility

    Thank you. So I'll continue telling my students not to use the expression. That it's not natural for a native speaker is good enough for me.

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