Reply to "too - to"

Rasha Assem posted:

1) The tea is too hot to drink.

2) The tea is too hot to be drunk.

3) The tea is too hot for us to drink.

A few questions that I have:

A) If sentence one is correct, how is  that although the verb is not in a passive voice conjugation?!

B) If the second is wrong, then why?!

C) If all of them are correct, is there any difference?



Hi, Rasha Assem,

(1) & (3) are perfectly grammatical and common. The tea is so hot that we can't drink it. = The tea is too hot (for us) to drink. I also see that (2) is grammatical but seems less common.

Randolph Quirk gives the following explanation, which applies to your example above:

- Traditionally, grammarians have regarded the infinitive clause in "The writing is too faint to read" as having a passive meaning ('to be read'), but we analyse it as having an unexpressed subject and object ('for anyone to read the writing')."

So, you can say that all your sentences above are grammatically correct and have the same meaning and the only difference is that the infinitive clause in (1) and (2) has an unexpressed subject and object whereas (3) has a definite one 'we/us'.

Last edited by ahmed_btm