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You don't want her settling in, or even worse, falling in love, right? And there's also the chance you'll fall in love with her.

As far as I know, the subject in there constructions is supposed to be new information. But as you can see, that's not 'a chance' but 'the chance'. In this case, can I call the chance new information even 'the' is before chance? To me, this 'the' doesn't seem to be completely new information or totally old information, which I'm ambivalent about. It feels like it's quasi-new, quasi-old information. It seems like the speaker's introducing a (new) subject that the listener already knew in the back of his mind.

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anonymous In this case, can I call the chance new information even 'the' is before chance?

Yes, I would say so.

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There's also the chance that ...

may be paraphrased as

You should also consider the possibility that ...

There is nothing to be gained by agonizing over whether that's new or old information.

While the there construction normally takes an indefinite noun phrase (a / an), it can also take a definite one (the). In the latter case, the meaning is idiomatically (usually) that something is being mentioned for consideration or as a reminder.

You could fire her for incompetence, but then there's the problem of finding a replacement.
It's too bad that they lost, but there's the old saying that sometimes losing can be good for a team.
So you've bought a new home! Now there's the question of how to furnish each room.

CJ

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Comments  
anonymousYou don't want her settling in, or even worse, falling in love, right? And there's also the chance you'll fall in love with her.

Isn't "the" for emphasis (spoken as "ðiː") in that sentence?

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anonymous
anonymousYou don't want her settling in, or even worse, falling in love, right? And there's also the chance you'll fall in love with her.

Isn't "the" for emphasis (spoken as "ðiː") in that sentence?

No. /ðiː/ is used when it precedes a vowel, and "chance" doesn't begin with a vowel. This is not considered emphatic "the".

The same pronunciation can be used for emphasis, but this is rarely done, and it's used to suggest that the referent of the following noun is in some way a one-of-a-kind item or the best of its class. I don't believe I've heard this use of /ðiː/ in ages.

CJ

CalifJimThe same pronunciation can be used for emphasis, but this is rarely done, and it's used to suggest that the referent of the following noun is in some way a one-of-a-kind item or the best of its class. I don't believe I've heard this use of /ðiː/ in ages.

Just to note that /ðiː/ for emphasis is not particularly unusual in the UK, in the right context. But, as you say, it is not applicable to this case.