In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English (e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc) which learners often find difficult. This week’s language tip is about the patterns that follow the noun possibility.
The noun possibility is never followed by an infinitive. Use the pattern the/a possibility of doing something:
✗ New technology offers
the possibility to putvery large dictionaries onto a single compact disc.
✓ New technology offers the possibility of putting very large dictionaries onto a single compact disc.
✗ With more flexible working hours, staff now have
the possibility to buildtheir own working conditions.
✓ With more flexible working hours, staff now have the possibility of building their own working conditions.
You can also use possibility in the following patterns:
▪ possibility of something
▪ possibility that
The possibility of a move to the coast was considered.
There is a real possibility that the government could be defeated.
More language tips
Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.