Blow (verb): blow chance(s)

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,


Do "blow" and "chance" sound appropriate (natural) in my examples below?


a. After scoring the third goal, they blew the opponent's chances of qualifying.
b. I know I'd blow my chance of getting the job if I called them now.

Meaning intended: do something so that you have no chance anymore, destroy the chance(s).


Thank you in advance!
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    You can blow your own chance, but, generally, you can't blow your opponent's chance (It would mean that you made a mistake that caused you to win. That doesn't sound like a mistake.)
     

    bennymix

    Senior Member
    I agree with Myridon.
    In the OP's second example (the good one), I think 'blow' means to completely waste or utterly fail to use, irreparably, [something of possible benefit], e.g., an opportunity; also, to badly miscarry, e.g. in an undertaking.

    In baseball, Jones blew his last time at bat.
    Regarding a newspaper reporter, "He utterly blew his interview with the prime minister; he looked like a fool."

    "Destroy" [one's chance at...] sounds a bit harsher and is more formal English.
     
    Last edited:

    defghi

    Member
    American English
    I disagree. Destroyed is quite a strong word, to be sure, but sports writing is full of strong terms.
    You're right.

    But actually after looking at the original context "a. After scoring the third goal, they blew the opponent's chances of qualifying." I don't really like either of them.

    I would rather say something like "Scoring the third goal destroyed/ruined/ended/obliterated/annihilated...", otherwise it sounds like 2 separate distinct events. With that fixed, nothing sounds too strong.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I would say, After scoring the third goal, they had blown away their opponent's chances of qualifying.
     
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