[Vocabulary] bad luck constructions

Buddy42

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Dear teachers,

You can say: I'm lucky.
But is it possible to say: I have luck? / He had very much luck, (because he wasn't hurt badly)." To me it sounds German...

And what about "bad luck"?

Can I say: I'm unlucky? or "I have had bad luck"?

Thanks in advance!
 

jutfrank

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You can use the verb-noun collocation have luck in some cases. It's hard to give clear rules as to when this is possible, so it might be best for you to think about specific sentences individually.

I have luck is not correct if you simply mean I'm lucky in the sense of 'I'm a lucky person'.
 

Buddy42

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An example would be:

My brother was lucky because he had just left the bridge before it broke down. My sister, however, had bad luck because she had stayed behind.

Is this construction possible.
 

emsr2d2

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Bridges don't break down. Do you mean that it fell down?
 

Buddy42

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Sorry, my fault.

What I wanted to say was that the bridge collapsed.
 

emsr2d2

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An example would be:

My brother was lucky because he had just [STRIKE]left[/STRIKE] crossed the bridge [STRIKE]before[/STRIKE] when it [STRIKE]broke down[/STRIKE] collapsed. My sister, however, [STRIKE]had bad luck[/STRIKE] was not so lucky because she had stayed behind.

Is this construction possible?

See above. I'm not clear what the blue part means. Was she still on the other side of the bridge when it collapsed and was therefore separated from her brother or was she on the bridge when it collapsed and (presumably) died?

I sincerely hope this is not a situation that happened to your siblings in real life.
 

Buddy42

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Thanks for your help and your sympathy.:)

Fortunately, the whole thing didn't happen in real life, it's just part of a (sad) story, I have recently read but which I didn't recollect correctly in my post, obviously.

So, with regards to the "had bad luck" part, do I understand it correctly that this use of vocabulary sounds awkward to a native speaker's ears?
 

Tarheel

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Well, "stayed behind" doesn't work. You could say she was behind her brother (in a separate car) and still on the bridge when it collapsed.
 

emsr2d2

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"had bad luck" is not as common as "was unlucky".
 
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