1

She’s very determined and there’s no chance she will change her mind.

I try to understand what is "there's no chance" in the sentence. e.g. is that subject? etc.

  • +1. That is a good question. What is the subject in "there’s no chance she will change her mind"? :) – F.E. Aug 1 '15 at 4:45
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    A useful diagnostic tool to use to help identify the subject is subject-auxiliary inversion. Using that tool, the subject and auxiliary verb are inverted, w.r.t. location, in the corresponding closed interrogative version: "Is there [no chance she will change her mind]?" That provides strong evidence that the grammatical subject is the word "there". As to the stuff within the brackets ("[…]"), that seems to all be a complement within that existential clause ("there's [no chance (that) she will change her mind]"). – F.E. Aug 1 '15 at 23:57
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There’s no chance she will change her mind.

There is no chance that she will change her mind. --->

There exists no chance that she will change her mind. --->

No chance exists that she will change her mind.

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  • For the sake of clarity, do you perhaps want your last example like this: "No chance that she will change her mind exists"? [Your last is more natural, it moves the heavy part of the noun phrase to the end of the clause, but the one without the movement is easiest to decode if one has trouble understanding the sentence in the first place] – Araucaria - Not here any more. Aug 2 '15 at 9:36
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First, define the word chance in proper context. Chance is often associated with luck or fortune, but in this case it refers to a single probability or possibility.

Next, expand the abbreviated sentence more fully. "There's no chance" expands to "There is not a chance"

Finally, connect the proper contextual definition with the expanded sentence. "There is not a single possibility that she will change her mind."

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1
  1. There’s no chance she will change her mind

Chance

The word chance can take to-infinitives, of-phrases, or finite clauses:

  • a chance to escape (to-infinitive)

    Here was our chance to escape.

  • a chance of rain - (of-phrase)

    There is a chance of rain.

  • a chance that it will rain (finite clause)

    There is a chance that it will rain.

When chance takes a finite clause we can leave out the word that:

  • There is a chance it will rain.

The 'numeral' no

The word no is a determiner. It means zero. It works in a similar way to numbers. In English we don't usually use the word zero like a numeral. We use the word no instead:

  • There are three chances
  • There are two chances
  • There is one chance
  • There is no chance.

There is no chance it will rain means the same as There is zero chance it will rain. Using the word no makes the sentence negative.

Notice that if there is zero chance it will rain, this is the same as saying that There isn't a chance it will rain.

The Original Poster's example

The Original Poster's example (1) means:

  • There isn't a [chance that it will rain].

Now in terms of the Subject, we need to know a bit about the verb BE. The verb BE has two slots which must both be used in a normal, canonical, sentence. It has one slot for a Subject. It has (at least) one more slot for a Complement. Sometimes there are more slots, but these two slots must be filled. If one slot is empty in a normal sentence, then the sentence is ungrammatical.

To find out what the Subject is, we can do a simple test. We can turn the clause into a question. The phrase that changes place with the verb BE is the Subject. Let's try this with (1):

  1. There is no chance she will change her mind.
  2. Is there no chance she will change her mind?

We can see that in example (2) the word there changed place with the word is. This means that the word there is the Subject. We can also show this using other tests. For example, when we put a question-tag on the end of the sentence it should have the verb BE and also a pronoun similar to the Subject. Let's try this with (1). We can have some other sentences to compare with:

  • She is intelligent, isn't she?
  • It is an elephant, isn't it?
  • There is no chance she'll change her mind, is there?

The data above all shows that the word there is the Subject of the clause.


Grammar note:

This type of clause is a kind of existential construction. It usually tells us that something exists.

The word there can be thought of as a pronoun. We call it a dummy pronoun because it has no meaning at all. We have to use it in some sentences because we cannot have an empty Subject slot when we use the verb BE. This sentence is ungrammatical:

  • *Is [a chance it will rain].

We cannot put a chance it will rain in the Subject slot instead, because both slots must be full. This sentence is not grammatical either:

  • *[A chance it will rain] is.

If you are interested in this type of existential sentence, you might enjoy this question here

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-2

"There's no chance" is the second independent clause. "Chance" is the subject and "is," the verb. The subordinate clause "[that] she will change her mind" is the complement of the verb in the main clause. In other words

No chance = that she will change her mind

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  • 2
    That can't be right old bean. The content clause is a complement of "chance", not of the verb. Secondly, the subject of the clause is the word "there", not the word "chance". This is what will invert with the verb "BE" if you turn the clause into a question. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Aug 1 '15 at 16:00

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