She has one chance in ten!
Your chances for getting well real soon were ten to one!
Do the two examples above mean the same! Do they mean the possibility of getting well is 10%?
Thanks!
Jason
Some people use "ten to one" as meaning 1 in 10. They're wrong, but you can't escape it.
"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, he said." This is supposed to mean that the chances are 1 in 1 million, but in fact it means a million chances of their coming to one chance of their not coming. So, it's a wonder anyone was surprised. They are trying to say "a million to one against anything coming from Mars".
I don't find the use of "ten to one" like this correct at all. If you bet on a horse whose odds are ten-to-one, that means that for every dollar you wager, you win ten if he wins.
I don't see how that applies to handicapping someone's odds of getting better, other than using long odds (50 to one or "a million to one") to describe a bad situation.
The second sounds like a bet to me, so I wouldn't use it in the context of someone's chances of surviving.
I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....
See also:
Fixed-odds betting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Fractional odds:
Favoured by bookmakers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and also common in horse racing, fractional odds quote the net total that will be paid out to the bettor, should he win, relative to his stake.
Odds of 4/1 ("four-to-one" or less commonly "four-to-one*against") would imply that the bettor stands to make a £400 profit on a £100 stake. If the odds are 1/4 (read "one-to-four", or "four-to-one*on"), the bettor will make £25 on a £100 stake. Should he win, the bettor always receives his original stake back, so if the odds are 4/1 the bettor receives a total of £500 (£400 plus the original £100).
Odds of 1/1 are known as evens or even money.
Not all fractional odds are traditionally read using the lowest common denominator.
Perhaps most unusual is that odds of 10/3 are read as "one-hundred-to-thirty".
Fractional odds are also known as British odds, UK odds or in that country, traditional odds."
R21