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I came across a shop selling the fruit jam that my sister had been looking for. But the fruit jam came in apple and peach flavours, I was not very sure which one my sister liked better, so I decided to buy both.
Now, given that situation, I want to explain why I bought both apple-flavoured and peach-flavoured jams to my sister: I bought two fruit jams in different flavours because the jams would be sold out. I could not [take any chances / take any chance] .

Thank you

Kitty

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    Idiomatically, with any it's always plural - [You must not] take any chances. Alternatively, it's singular with [I didn't want to] take the chance. Mar 6 '15 at 21:47
  • @FumbleFingers Are you suggesting my saying * I was careful not to take any chance of being late* would not be idiomatic?
    – WS2
    Mar 6 '15 at 22:07
  • @WS2: Perhaps my "always" was a bit OTT, but I don't like it much. Piling it on, take the chance of being is almost 20 times more common in Google Books than take any chance of being. Personally, for that context I'd almost always use run the risk of being [wrong]. Mar 6 '15 at 22:21
  • @FumbleFingers Not ...run any risk of being wrong?
    – WS2
    Mar 6 '15 at 23:05
  • @WS2: Apparently "the" is vastly more favoured than "any", but there's a slight suggestion "any" was a (tiny) bit more likely in the past. Perhaps it's "regionally preserved" in your area, but it sounds just a tad odd/atypical to me. Mar 7 '15 at 1:50
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I bought two fruit jams in different flavours because the jams would be sold out. I couldn't take any chances.

Alternatively,

I bought two fruit jams in different flavours because the jams would be sold out. I couldn't take chances.

Even...

I bought two fruit jams in different flavours because the jams would be sold out. I didn't want to take the chance.

Possibly...

I bought two fruit jams in different flavours because the jams would be sold out. I didn't want to take a chance.

This last one doesn't sound quite right because the unfortunate event you're attempting to avoid is apparent: getting the wrong flavour and finding the right flavour sold out before you can get it. In the context, the indefinite article a doesn't appear to be appropriate. It's legal usage, but I don't think it works well here.

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    Unless you're a blindingly fast typist (I'm certainly not, as my handle here implies! :) I assume my comment and your answer were independent. But looking at it again now I see we both chose to illustrate "singular" usage with the definite article. I've already upvoted you anyway, but it might be worth extending your answer to show indefinite article usage (offhand I'm not sure which if any contexts are affected by whether it's take the chance or take a chance). Mar 6 '15 at 22:13
  • I am a fast typist, but I wasn't that fast. Your comment wasn't there when I posted my answer. I'll see about adding an example with the indefinite article.
    – Paul Rowe
    Mar 6 '15 at 22:20
  • I'm going AFK now, but I'll be interested to see if you can come up with any contexts where a/the aren't 100% interchangeable without affecting (implied) meaning. Mar 6 '15 at 22:23

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