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    #1

    run the risk / stand a chance

    Hello,

    I'm wondering if the expressions "run the risk of doing something" and "stand a chance of doing something" are used in progressive tenses.

    (1) I think you're getting too little sleep and working too much these days. You run the risk of bringing yourself on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

    (2) You're driving too fast. I reckon you stand a chance of being fined for speeding.

    Should I have written "you're running" and "you're standing"? I don't remember seeing these phrases used in progressive tenses, but perhaps I haven't simply come across proper contexts.

    Thank you.

  1. SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: run the risk / stand a chance

    (Not a Teacher)

    You can use either progressive or simple present with "to run a risk" in the first sentence.
    However, the same cannot be said for "to stand a chance". In fact, I can't think of a situation where "standing a chance" wouldn't sound awkward or completely wrong.

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    #3

    Re: run the risk / stand a chance

    It never ceases to amaze me how English works.
    Thank you!

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    #4

    Re: run the risk / stand a chance

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I'm wondering if the expressions "run the risk of doing something" and "stand a chance of doing something" are used in progressive tenses.

    (1) I think you're getting too little sleep and working too much these days. You run the risk of bringing yourself on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

    (2) You're driving too fast. I reckon you stand a chance of being fined for speeding.

    Should I have written "you're running" and "you're standing"? I don't remember seeing these phrases used in progressive tenses, but perhaps I haven't simply come across proper contexts.

    Thank you.
    Also, although 2 is not unacceptable, it's normal to 'run the risk' of a negative outcome and to 'stand a chance' of a positive one. (Applying them with 'reverse polarity' is sometimes used for comic effect: a teacher might say 'In time for class again, John? If you keep it up you run the risk of breaking your record.'

    b

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    #5

    Re: run the risk / stand a chance

    Just out of interest, I checked on BNC hits for 'risk/chance of + <noun>':

    risk of ...
    1 RISK OF DEATH 50
    2 RISK OF INFECTION 47
    3 RISK OF HEART [BK: next word is 'failure'] 42
    4 RISK OF INJURY 42
    5 RISK OF CANCER 27
    6 RISK OF HIV 26
    7 RISK OF DAMAGE 24
    8 RISK OF DEPRESSION 21
    9 RISK OF HARM 21
    10 RISK OF LUNG 19
    11 RISK OF SUICIDE 19
    12 RISK OF ACCIDENTS 17
    13 RISK OF DEFAULT 17
    14 RISK OF DISEASE 17
    15 RISK OF FAILURE 17
    16 RISK OF FIRE 17
    17 RISK OF POVERTY 15
    18 RISK OF VIOLENCE 13
    19 RISK OF ACCIDENT 12
    20 RISK OF LOSS 12
    ...
    [BK: 'chance of...']
    1 CHANCE OF SUCCESS 131
    2 CHANCE OF SURVIVAL 81
    3 CHANCE OF IT 34
    4 CHANCE OF ESCAPE 17
    5 CHANCE OF THEM 16
    6 CHANCE OF HIM 14
    7 CHANCE OF HAPPINESS 13
    8 CHANCE OF LIFE 12
    9 CHANCE OF ME 10
    10 CHANCE OF PROMOTION 10
    11 CHANCE OF QUALIFYING 9
    12 CHANCE OF GLORY 8
    13 CHANCE OF HER 8
    14 CHANCE OF VICTORY 8
    15 CHANCE OF YOU 8
    16 CHANCE OF LIVING 7
    17 CHANCE OF ANYONE 6
    18 CHANCE OF HELPING 5
    19 CHANCE OF PEACE 5
    20 CHANCE OF RAIN 5
    ...
    More here: British National Corpus (BYU-BNC)

    b

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    #6

    Re: run the risk / stand a chance

    Out of curiosity: if you tell someone "You don't stand a chance!", you're basically telling them that they won't have an opportunity to succeed in something. "John is madly in love with Sarah. However, he really doesn't stand a chance with her".

    I don't really see a connection between "stand a chance" and " run the risk". I think that the idea of chance doesn't entirely depend on someone's skills and abilities only but there's more to it. There's almost and element of fate related to it, which may well depend on someone else's will, or external conditions we have no control of.

    On the contrary "run a risk" implies a connotation of willingness, or at least awareness of the ultimate results of an action.

    "John is madly in love with Sarah. Although he knows he doesn't stand a chance, he is going ask her out and run the risk of being rejected."

    As I am writing this, however, I've noticed you may safely say: "John is madly in love with Sarah. Although he knows he doesn't stand a chance, he is going to chance asking her out". I think it's obvious what the verb chance means here: giving something a go, without knowing what the ultimate outcome may be as it doesn't only depend on one's will, but on other variables, e.g. Sarah's feelings for John.

    Hope I haven't confused you any further...

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    #7

    Re: run the risk / stand a chance

    Quote Originally Posted by shannico View Post
    Hope I haven't confused you any further...

    No, you haven't. But another thing has.

    We don't want to run the risk of losing their business.
    The driver didn't stand a chance of stopping in time

    I've copied these examples from OALD. Both phrases look pretty much the same to me in terms of their structure - verb+noun+of+ing form. Why does the first use 'the' and the second 'a'?

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    #8

    Re: run the risk / stand a chance

    I think it comes down to the fact that both are idioms

    - run the risk
    - stand a chance




    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    No, you haven't. But another thing has.

    We don't want to run the risk of losing their business.
    The driver didn't stand a chance of stopping in time

    I've copied these examples from OALD. Both phrases look pretty much the same to me in terms of their structure - verb+noun+of+ing form. Why does the first use 'the' and the second 'a'?

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