# determine the probability <of/that>?

< Previous | Next >

#### Roundhouse

##### Senior Member
Is there a reason why one should pick one over the other?

A: ... the program cannot effectively determine the probability of a worker finding new employment in a given region.

B: ... the program cannot effectively determine the probability that a worker will find new employment in a given region.

• #### PaulQ

##### Senior Member
No. Both modify "probability"

"...of a worker finding new employment in a given region" is a prepositional modifier.
"that a worker will find new employment in a given region" is a subordinate, defining clause as part of a noun clause.

#### Uncle Jack

##### Senior Member
They mean different things, or at least, they could do.

A. is unambiguous. It looks only at one worker, and his or her probability of finding new employment.

B. Might be looking at the probability of at least one worker out of a group of workers finding new employment. Perhaps there are ten workers, each with a 10% probability of finding new employment and each of their chances of finding new employment were independent of the others. In this scenario, "the probability that a worker will find new employment" would be 65%.
The context may make it clear that B means the same as A, but with B you need additional context; with A you do not.

#### Roundhouse

##### Senior Member
They mean different things, or at least, they could do.

A. is unambiguous. It looks only at one worker, and his or her probability of finding new employment.

B. Might be looking at the probability of at least one worker out of a group of workers finding new employment. Perhaps there are ten workers, each with a 10% probability of finding new employment and each of their chances of finding new employment were independent of the others. In this scenario, "the probability that a worker will find new employment" would be 65%.
The context may make it clear that B means the same as A, but with B you need additional context; with A you do not.
Thanks Uncle Jack, all I want to say is that the program cannot determine any unemployed worker's chances of finding a new job. Do you think A suits this?

#### Uncle Jack

##### Senior Member
You will probably find it easier to incorporate A into the rest of whatever it is you are saying.

#### The pianist

##### Senior Member
Among probabalists it's 'that'. Use it without fear, regardless of all the unnecessary discourse provided by other answers.

< Previous | Next >