English as a Second Language/Two sentences


Dear Shannon,
I saw these two sentence in one of the English lessons on YouTube:

(1) 'What are the chances of us winning?'
To me, the more usual sentence structure is to say "What are our chances of winning?

(2) 'I managed to hurt myself in the playground.'
To me, I do not understand why 'managed to' is used here. It is meaningless. 'Manage to' means to succeed in doing something.

Thanks in advance!

Kindest regards,
Antoine Ghannoum

1. Yes, you are correct.  The form you saw is just another way of expressing the same idea.

2. This is typically more British in usage than American.  The phrase basically means "to be able to" when used in a positive way, and "accidentally" when used in a negative way.

English as a Second Language

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Shannon Cole


I can answer questions related to learning the English and Spanish language.


I have taught ESL and Spanish since 1998 at the university and middle school levels. I am a native of the U.S., and have taught in both the U.S. and Mexico.

I am owner and operator of www.coleinstitute.com, an online language school.

Georgia TESOL in Action (1999)

B.A. in Spanish; M.Ed. in Language Education

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I have clients worldwide, some who want their documents proofread, and others who take lessons with me through the Internet. Some work at high-profile companies and government organizations. Besides the U.S. and Mexico, my recent students come from South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Colombia, Russia, Italy, Paraguay, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.

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