Possibility of/for (doing) sth...-it seems the possibilities for smartwatches...

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z7655431

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Joined
Jan 12, 2016
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Student or Learner
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Chinese
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Taiwan
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Taiwan
1. With technology having become more and more sophisticated and computer chips smaller and smaller, it seems the possibilities for smartwatches are almost endless. (From Ivy League Analytical English Magazine)
In the red part, can I use the preposition "of" instead of "for"? Is there any difference between them?

2. There was no possibility of changing the voting procedure. (From Longman Dictionary)
In the red part of this sentence, can I use the preposition "for" instead of "of"? Is there any difference between them?

Thanks for your help!
 
J

J&K Tutoring

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1. This is a kind of sentence we see more and more and think little about it. It's easy to understand and quite acceptable until we really think about what it says and then I (for one) make a face, roll my eyes, and move on. "Possibilities are endless" literally means that each individual 'possibility' is endless, which is absurd. A list of possibilities might be (hyperbolically) "endless", but not the possibilities themselves.

To respond to your question: In my opinion, once we go off into questionable usage, one more step wouldn't make it much worse. I much prefer 'for' and seeing 'of' would make be begin to really question the writer's grasp of English usage.

2. Possibility of. Mechanism for. Reason for. ​No substitutions.
 
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