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Thread: It's nice to talk to you = You are nice to talk to?

  1. #1
    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    It's nice to talk to you = You are nice to talk to?

    Do "It's nice to talk to you" and "You are nice to talk to" have the same meaning?
    Thanks for correcting me.

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Not quite. But it's more a matter of association. The first sentence is an expression about the quality of the conversation, the other about the quality of the person. The result may be the same.
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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    bitpicker, how is it possible to say these sentences in a different way? I just try to understand what function infinitive has in the second sentence.
    It's nice to talk to you. = To talk to you is nice.
    You are nice to talk to. = ?
    May be You are nice for talking?

    It's nice to talk to you. = To talk to you is nice.To talk to you is the subject.
    But what is function of the infinitive in You are nice to talk to? Purpose?
    Thanks for correcting me.

  4. #4
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboy View Post
    bitpicker, how is it possible to say these sentences in a different way? I just try to understand what function infinitive has in the second sentence.
    It's nice to talk to you. = To talk to you is nice.
    It's nice to talk to you. = To talk to you is nice. -------Yes, both are right and mean the same thing.
    You are nice to talk to. = ---- That is fine.
    May be You are nice for talking? ---- No, that sounds strange.

    Here are some alternative ways to say the same thing, in a nice way:

    It's very nice talking with you.
    I am really enjoying this conversation.
    Talking with you is very nice indeed.
    To talk with you is so enjoyable!
    It's so nice to chat with you.
    This conversation is really enjoyable.
    It's always nice to talk with you.



    It's nice to talk to you. = To talk to you is nice.To talk to you is the subject.
    But what is function of the infinitive in You are nice to talk to? Purpose?
    I am not very good at grammar but I would say that the purpose of the infinitive is to specify that you are talking to that particular person, and not just talking in general. It has to be there, if you don't have it, then the sentence sounds strange.

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    Thank you, bitpicker and Hanna!
    But the question about the function of the infinitive is still open.
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    But what is function of the infinitive in You are nice to talk to?
    The infinitive qualifies the adjective to form what you might call a complex adjective/complex predicate. To be honest I'm not sure what the correct grammatical terminology should be. The way I see it it's not all that dissimilar from the way in which other parts of speech can qualify adjectives too.

    For example you can say either,
    Is this plate safe to put in the dishwasher?
    or Is this plate dishwasher safe

    Either Fruit is nice as a starter
    or Fruit is nice to start your meal with

    Either The battery is hot to the touch
    or The battery is hot to touch


    It's nice to talk to you. = To talk to you is nice.To talk to you is the subject.
    Correct. The two sentences ( I mean It's nice to talk to you and You are nice to talk to), although they will often mean more or less the same thing, have different grammatical structures.

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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboy View Post
    bitpicker, how is it possible to say these sentences in a different way? I just try to understand what function the infinitive has in the second sentence.
    It's nice to talk to you. = To talk to you is nice.
    You are nice to talk to. = You are a nice person to talk to

    It's nice to talk to you. = To talk to you is nice.To talk to you is the subject.
    No, "it" is the subject. "To talk to you" is an infinitive phrase. It's a similar structure to "это просто понять" - I don't think it is possible to translate "you are nice to talk to" into Russian using such a structure, but "this is easy to understand" follows the same principle. In English, verbs which are accompanied by prepositions may use that same pattern: "you are easy to get along with" for example.

    In English, sentences may end in prepositions. The silly "rule" saying that they may not, which you might find quoted sometimes, is a remnant of an early humanistic outlook on grammar when grammarians thought that Latin was the ideal language, and therefore anything which was not possible in Latin must be a somehow debased or devolved grammatical feature best forgotten. Which is something, as is sometimes ascribed as a quote to Churchill, up with which we should not put.

    Correct: something with which we should not put up.
    Спасибо за исправления!

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    Many thanks!
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    bitpicker
    'it' is the dummy/grammatical/empty/... subject whereas the infinitive phrase is the actual/logical/... subject.
    cf.
    Инфинитивный оборот (Infinitive clause ). Формальное подлежащее it обыкновенно вводится, если логическим подлежащим является инфинитивный оборот. В частности, it часто используется в инфинитивных оборотах, вводимых предлогом for (For- clause ). It is difficult to imagine worse English. — Трудно представить себе худший английский. It was difficult for them to talk and so they for the most part kept silent. — Им было трудно разговаривать, поэтому большую часть времени они молчали.
    Quote Originally Posted by bitpicker
    In English, sentences may end in prepositions. The silly "rule" saying that they may not, which you might find quoted sometimes, is a remnant of an early humanistic outlook on grammar when grammarians thought that Latin was the ideal language, and therefore anything which was not possible in Latin must be a somehow debased or devolved grammatical feature best forgotten. Which is something, as is sometimes ascribed as a quote to Churchill, up with which we should not put.

    Correct: something with which we should not put up.
    (Also correct: something which we should not put up with)


    Quite so. As a very sloppy writer myself I would have to support this.

    It's like what it says in Hume. The more outlandish the doctrine the greater the merit one might hope to attain by believing it.
    For besides the unavoidable incoherences which must be reconciled and adjusted, one may safely affirm that all popular theologygrammar, especially the scholasticthat of the style guardians, has a kind of appetite for absurdity and contradiction. If that theology went not beyond reason and common sense, her doctrines would appear too easy and familiar. Amazement must of necessity be raised; mystery affected; darkness and obscurity sought after; and a foundation of merit afforded the devout votaries, who desire an opportunity of subduing their rebellious reason, by the belief of the most unintelligible sophisms.

  10. #10
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Correct: something with which we should not put up
    Um, no. Correct is: "Something (which) we should not put up with." (One can say it with or without the "which", but in either case "put up with" is a fixed phrase and can't be broken apart.)

    My strong advice is that "to put up with" is one of those phrasal verbs that SHOULD NEVER BE SPLIT.

    On the other hand, the phrasal verb "to turn on" in the sense of включить is "splittable" -- you can "turn on the computer" or you can "turn the computer on" -- but you can only "put up with a problem". You can't "put a problem up with" or "put up a problem with", etc.

    Another way to explain this is that the "with" in "to put up with" should NOT be considered a preposition after the two-word phrasal verb "to put up"; rather, it's the final part of a three-word phrasal verb that takes a direct object without a preposition. In fact, the three words in the phrasal verb are so inseparable that it would be rather logical to write the verb через дефисы: "How long must we put-up-with this idiot?" But, although it'd be logical, as it happens we don't hyphenate this verb.

    P.S. Keep in mind that I speak U.S. English -- so it's possible that a speaker from the U.K. would disagree with me on whether it's correct/normal/natural to say "with which we won't put up."
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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