What are the odds of...?

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Nayran Burns, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Nayran Burns Member

    I don,t know exactly how to use this exppresion. For example,
    "What are the odds of going to the cinema today?" or "What are the odds of that going to the cinema today?" I red this sentence with "that" but I suppoused sometimes is not neccesery to use.
    Thanks a lot.
  2. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    If you don't want a translation into Spanish, you should post in the English-Only forum :)

    "What are the odds of" is a slightly unusual expression for going to the cinema. It is usually employed when talking about something that is out of your control.


    "I just found a fifty pound note on the pavement. What are the odds of that happening?"
    "What are the odds of a giant meteorite hitting the Earth?"
    "What are the odds of winning the lottery?"

    It might be used with 'cinema' as a joke (or chat-up line), e.g.

    Boy: Hello, my name's Bob.
    Girl: Hello
    Boy: What are the odds of
    going to the cinema today?
    Girl: With me?
    Boy: Yes.
    Girl: Don't be silly. I don't even know you.

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  3. Nayran Burns Member

    For example, if I say: What are the odds of going to the cinema? It,s too far and I can,t drive!.
    Could be? Thanks!
  4. Bark

    Bark Senior Member

    London (UK)
    Español de España
    Grammatically, yes, it is correct; However, it doesn't make any sense... Bear in mind that although it literally means "Qué probabilidades hay de que..." it does not work as in Spanish. As Biffo said, it applies when something has a small chance of happening, e.g. finding a 50€ note on the street.

    Maybe, with your example, you could use "What are the chances of me going to the cinema? I can't drive!"; here you are asking about possibilites, with "odds" you are asking probabilities.

    Hope it helps.


  5. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
    It seems there are two contexts in which it is used.

    The first is when you can't believe that something has happened and you are expressing amazement: "What are the odds of that happening! (finding a 50€ note on the street; the worst player on the team scoring a goal; having a car leave a parking space right in front of the restaurant you're going to just as you arrive).

    The second is when you want to ask someone to do something in a coy manner. For example, you've driven your date home, and you ask coyly, "What are the odds of getting invited in for a drink?" In other words, "I know it's probably a long shot (not likely), but let me ask anyway."

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