Key Word: possibility
1 Verb + possibility
Choose the more natural collocations:
- Keep trying. Don’t give up until you have _____________ every possibility. (explored / discovered)
- Look, we’ve been investigating this case for almost two years now. I think we’ve_____________ all the possibilities. (tried / exhausted)
- I’m afraid that we can’t give you an exact date for the completion of the building. We have to _____________ the possibility that bad weather may hold up progress. (allow for / prevail on)
- This new breakthrough_____________ the possibility of finding a cure for MS. (raises / lifts)
- We can’t_____________ the possibility that the child was swept out to sea by a huge wave. (forget / rule out)
- Hundreds of police were present at the Cup Final to _____________ any possibility of a repetition of last year’s fighting between rival fans. (evade / avoid)
- Let’s _____________ a few other possibilities before we book the hotel. We might find somewhere a bit more convenient. (examine / discover)
- The conviction of John Faulkner _____________ the possibility that other crimes might be solved through the use of DNA evidence. (opens up / suggests)
2 Considering and rejecting possibility
Mark the sentences C if they mean ‘considering the possibility’ and R if they mean ‘rejecting’:
- They are examining the possibility of a complete five-year ban on fishing in the North Sea.
- It’s not likely to happen but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility.
- Have you decided how you’ll travel to the meeting? > No, I’m still considering the possibilities.
- At this stage of our investigation we can’t exclude the possibility that he may have been murdered.
- We are also looking at the possibility of converting the old school into a hotel.
- Before the election the President refused to entertain the possibility of defeat.
3 Likely or unlikely possibilities
Mark the sentences below L if they are likely to happen and U If they are unlikely to happen:
- I think we should postpone our trip to the seaside. There’s a strong possibility of rain this afternoon.
- We need to do a number of further tests as there is a remote possibility that it could be cancerous.
- Cloudy skies are forecast so there’s only a faint possibility that you will see the eclipse of the sun.
- If sales of our products don’t improve soon, I’m afraid job losses remain a real possibility.
- There’s a distinct possibility that I will be in London next week. Perhaps we can meet up.
4 Common expressions
Complete the sentences below with the following:
every various any one endless
- In order to clear your debts, you have a number of options open to you. Selling your car is just_____________ possibility.
- Is there_____________ possibility of you giving me a lift to the station tomorrow night?
- Have you decided what to do? => No, I’m still considering the_____________ possibilities.
- The cottage is surrounded by huge areas of open countryside. There are _____________ possibilities for hill-walking and fishing.
- There is_____________ possibility that we will be able to complete the work on time. We’re almost certain to meet the deadline.
1. Note this expression:
We might holiday in space one day – it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility.
2. If something ‘has possibilities’, it means it has potential:
The house is a bit run down, but it has possibilities.
3. Both ‘for’ and ‘of can be used after ‘possibility’:
There’s a possibility of snow.
The place has possibilities for development.
1 explored 2. exhausted 3. allow for 4. raises
5 rule out 6. avoid 7. examine 8. opens up
Ex 2: l-C 2-R 3-C 4-R 5-C 6-R
Ex 3: l-L 2-U 3-U 4-L 5-L
Ex 4: l. one 2. any 3. various 4. endless 5. every
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