Example sentence:
i)Chance of joining
ii)Chance to join

i)intention of selling
ii) intention to sell

Could someone explain me the differences in meaning?
I think both have very much the same meaning but I am not 100% sure.

I always get a trouble with the preposition "of". Some people say it's often used with certain verbs as a fixed phrase. But the thing is not all of them are explained in the dictionary. In the end, I always have to remember them.

Thank you in advance.

1 2
"chance of" is typically used when "chance" means "likelihood", "probability", "odds".
"chance to" is typically used when "chance" means "opportunity".

"intention of" is very often used in the negative expression "to have no intention of"
"intention to" is always used with "expletive 'it'", thus: "It is [my / your / his / ...] intention to ..."

There's more to be said, but I think these rules of thumb will give you a good start. Here's some examples of the principles stated above:

What is the [chance / likelihood] of finding a four-leaf clover in this field?
ALSO, "What are [the / my] [chances / odds] of finding a four-leaf ...?"
[There's / You have] no chance of winning the lottery if you don't buy a ticket.

I had [a chance / an opportunity] to meet Sophia Loren when I visited Italy.
Have you had [a chance / an opportunity] to talk to the new boss yet?

Maria had no intention of responding to the letter.
I'm so sorry! I had no intention of spoiling your fun.

It is not my intention to teach physics next year.
Is it your intention to get married soon?

Hope that helps!

Emotion: smile
Hi, Jim
I really do appreciate your help.

I need just one more question on "of" and I am sure either Jim or someone else can help me understand following sentence.

"He has achieved so much and his experience will be of enormous benefit to the squad."

I don't understand why "of" is used before the "enormous".
In the such sentence, I tend to use "an" or "zero article" instead, but I am not native english speaker, so again I need help.

Thank you in advance.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
"... will be an enormous benefit ..." is a perfectly good way to say it.

There are several ways to approach expressions of this form.

1. "to be" + "of"-phrase can sometimes be paraphrased with the verb "to have".

This package is of the same weight as the other.
= This package has the same weight as the other.
The syntax was of the form SVO. = The syntax had the form SVO.

2. In the same way that the adjective "big" operates in a., below, an "of"-phrase, too, can operate as an adjective, as in b. Note the repetition of the subject noun in the predicates.

a. That man is big. = That man is a big man.
b. The instructions were of great help. = The instructions were instructions of great help.

This fabric is of the highest quality.
This fabric has the highest quality. (from 1.)
This fabric is fabric of the highest quality. (from 2.)

3. The "of"-phrase is frequently simply synonymous with an adjective.
Specifically, the standard formula "of" + "adjective" + "noun" so often found after "to be" is very frequently equivalent to "adverb" (from the original adjective) + "adjective" (from the original noun).

"to be:"
"of enormous benefit" = "enormously beneficial"
"of utmost importance" = "extremely important"
"of no significance" = "not significant"
"of unparalleled value" = "valuable without parallel" = *"unparalleledly valuable" (Sometimes the adverbial part cannot be expressed with a single-word adverb!)
"of little use" = "not very useful"
"of sturdy construction" = "sturdily constructed"

Maybe thinking of the "to be" + "of"-phrase structures in one of these ways (or in other similar ways of your own invention) will help you to become more comfortable with them.

Emotion: smile
Thanks for your help again, Jim.
I feel like I almost conquered the "of".
However, again, I have got one more question on "of".

I understand that "of" is sometimes used after a verb to introduce an object involved in an action like following sentence.

"West Brom complete the £1.5m 'signing of' Burnley midfielder Richard Chaplow."

However, I also see that the verb is sometimes in present simple form(infinitive) and I do not understand the difference between two.

e.g. sign of/singing of, fear of/fearing of etc...

In the above sentence, can you use "sign of" instead?

Thanks in advance.
In these constructions the "of" connects a 'deverbal noun' to its object, sometimes its subject.

"West Brom complete the signing of Chaplow" is like "West Brom complete this: West Brom signs (up) Chaplow. "

"sign" and "signing" are different and cannot be interchanged.

Here's another example:

"I completed the homework" can be changed to "my completion of the homework" and then used in a bigger sentence: "My completion of the homework was not enough to please the teacher."

Note how "completion" is a noun that comes from the verb "complete". By removing the verb quality from it and making it a noun, we make it a 'deverbal' noun, a noun formed from a verb.

The "-ing" and "-tion" endings are very frequently the sign of a deverbal noun, but sometimes the verb and the noun are spelled exactly the same, and sometimes other changes occur.

Here are some "verb : deverbal noun" pairs.

complete : completion
drink : drinking
understand : understanding
evaluate : evaluation
defend : defense
love : love
sign : signing
fear : fear

Now here are some verb phrases and corresponding noun phrases that use the examples above:

to complete the assignment : the completion of the assignment
to drink coffee : the drinking of coffee
to understand the principles : understanding of the principles
to evaluate the contestants : the evaluation of the contestants
to defend the client : defense of the client
to love music : the love of music
to sign Chaplow : the signing of Chaplow
to fear snakes : the fear of snakes

That's just a start, but maybe it will help answer your question.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I read CJ's explanation of the structure "verb-ing +of", which is very informative. I have one question about the corresponding noun phrases. The phrases "understanding of the principles" and " defense of the client" do not have the article "the" at the front, while all the other do. Why? Thank you.
Guest, It was just to show that "the" is not a required element of the structure. To illustrate it better I probably should have shown some of the examples with "the", some with "a", some with "my", and so on, as well the ones without a determiner. Sorry if I confused you somehow. Jim
Hi, CalifJim,
Just wondering what you might think of Wilson Follett's take on missing "the" as presented in his "Modern American Usage."
I am quoting two general statements that he made on pages 37 and 39, 1966 edition:

"A due sense of the radical difference gives rise to the rule that any noun in the singular limited by the restrictive "of phrase" requires "the" in front of it, except in some common idioms of the type discussed below."

"This is especially true in phrases where an "of" followed by a concrete word or a proper name defines a preceding abstraction—e.g. [the] appointment of a new sheriff/.../[the] accumulation of objects of art."

I have a feeling that Mr. Follett, were he with us today, would object to your (no the/my,etc) understanding of the principles and (no the/his,etc.) defense of the client.

Jim, if you don't have access to Follett's book, please yell and I will cite more of Follett on the subject.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Show more