Ahmed Abdelhafeez posted:
"He is too polite a person to refuse."


Hi, Ahmed and Hussein,

Yes, that sentence is correct, and, yes, we can use "too" with adjectives like "polite." Unlike Hussein's example (I think you meant to use the word "who" or "that" after "bully," Hussein, without which your sentence is ungrammatical), "too" in your example relates to the infinitive "to refuse."

Such infinitive clauses have been called "clauses of extent," though the term is not very common. I like the term, however, because it is descriptive of the grammatical relationships obtaining in such sentences. Your sentence means that he is polite to such an extent that he will not refuse. Other examples:

  • He is too polite to complain when he receives poor service.
  • He is too polite to use anything but good manners in public.

In Hussein's example, by contrast, at least as it was intended, "too polite" means simply "overly polite." "Too" does not relate to an infinitive clause in his sentence. "To a bully (who) is about to take your money" is a prepositional phrase containing an infinitive, but "about to take your money" is not a clause of extent.

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