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1) Drinking is a bad thing for you to do.
2) Stealing is a bad thing for you to do.

The meaning of '1' is clear to me, but I have a problem with '2'. It is not saying that stealing is bad per se, but is saying it is bad for you. It is as if the speaker is telling the addressee that they will get caught if they steal.

Would you agree with that?
Or could '2' be used when the intended meaning is basically the same as in 'Stealing is a big thing to do'?

Gratefully,
Navi

Original Post

Hello, Navi—I agree with you that "Stealing is a bad thing for you to do" would normally suggest, like "Drinking is a bad thing for you to do," that the activity is bad "for you," not necessarily for everyone.

However, although the meaning can be specific to the individual, it is also compatible with general meaning. If we suppose that drinking and stealing are bad for anyone to do, it will follow that they are bad for you and for me.

Last edited by David, Moderator

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