Chance, opportunity

Chance 當名詞用時可跟介系詞 at, for, of 和 on 連用:Mary has a chance at winning. (瑪麗有獲勝的機會);The meetings are very short, so there is little chance for real discussion. (會議都很短,所以沒有什麼機會進行真正的討論);For the first time in 15 years, they have a realistic chance of winning an election. (15 年來,他們首次有了贏得選舉的實際可能);I’ll take a chance on entering. (我將冒險進入) – to take a chance (on) = to take chances,意為「冒險;碰運氣」,如 It is just not worth taking any chances. (這事根本不值得去冒險)。此外,chance 亦可接帶 to 的不定詞:Participants are given/offered/provided the chance to learn another language. (參加者有機會學習另一種語言)。

當動詞用的 chance 可與數個介系詞及帶 to 的不定詞連用。 chance 可接on/upon, by 和 into 等介系詞,但以 chance on/upon 最常見,意為「偶然發現;巧遇」,如:I was browsing in a bookshop when I chanced upon an old friend. (我在逛書店時巧遇一位老朋友)。接不定詞時,意思亦同,如 I chanced to meet an old friend in the park today. (今天我在公園碰巧遇見一位老朋友)。上述的用法都是正規英語。

Opportunity 僅當名詞用,通常接帶 to 的不定詞,如 The program gives students the opportunity to learn more about global warming. (這節目讓學生有機會瞭解更多有關全球暖化的情況)。opportunity 亦常與介系詞 for 和 of 連用 (for 和 of 後面接動名詞、名詞和名詞片語):The job pays well, but there’s not much opportunity for career advancement. (這份工作報酬不錯,但卻沒有多少職業升遷的機會);Soon he had an opportunity of explaining that to her. (不久他便有了向她解釋那件事的機會)。

由上可知,chance 和 opportunity 意為「機會」時可謂同義字,如 I’ll have a chance/an opportunity to visit the Louvre when I’m in Paris. (我到了巴黎將有機會參觀羅浮宮);然而,chance 還有「可能性」的意思,這是 opportunity 所沒有的,因此在表示這意思時,我們只能用 chance 而不能用 opportunity,如 There is a chance (不可用 opportunity) that I’ll see him. (我有可能見到他) – 在此,chance 等於 possibility。

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