General Writing and Grammar Help/Italy has.....

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Question
Dear Ted:

Which of the following six sentences is or are correct and natural?

1) Italy has small / few chances of winning / to win the next world cup.

2) Italy has small / few possibilities of winning / to win the next world cup.

3) Italy has small / little probabilities of winning / to win the next world cup.

4) Italy has small / little chance of winning / to win the next world cup.

5) Italy has small / little possibility of winning / to win the next world cup.

6) Italy has small / little probability of winning / to win the next world cup.

In your own words, how would you express this concept?

Thank you very much for the help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Which of the following six sentences is or are correct and natural?

1) Italy has small / few chances of winning / to win the next world cup.

2) Italy has small / few possibilities of winning / to win the next world cup.

3) Italy has small / little probabilities of winning / to win the next world cup.

4) Italy has small / little chance of winning / to win the next world cup.

5) Italy has small / little possibility of winning / to win the next world cup.

6) Italy has small / little probability of winning / to win the next world cup.

*** I would not use the word "small" in connection with winning sports events.  I would select either #4 or #5.  You are suggesting that Italy's team is not that good, so I would rule out any sentence containing the word "probability."  

Here is my version:  Italy has a little chance of winning the next World Cup.  I don't really like this sentence.  I think that this one is better:  Italy has almost NO CHANCE of winning the next World Cup.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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