Grammar Patterns

ADJ to-inf

ADJ to-inf

The adjective is followed by a to-infinitive clause.Adjectives with this pattern are of two types. With some adjectives, the Subject of the main clause is different from the understood Subject of the to-infinitive clause. For example, in His films were beautiful to look at, it is his films that are beautiful, but it is an unnamed person or group who looks at the films. This is Type 1.
 Adjectiveto-infinitive clause
He wasexcellentto work with.
Fish can befiddlyto cook.
With other adjectives, the two Subjects are the same. For example, in He was surprised to receive a telephone call, it is he who is surprised and he who receives the telephone call. This is Type 2.
 Adjectiveto-infinitive clause
We would befoolishto ignore them.
Shelley wasoverjoyedto see me.
Groups 1-5 below are Type 1 adjectives. Groups 6-17 are Type 2 adjectives.Adjectives with this pattern belong to the following meaning groups:
The 'pretty' groupThe 'terrible' and 'wonderful' groupThe 'cheap' and 'expensive' groupThe 'boring' and 'interesting' groupThe 'adequate' groupThe 'astonished' groupThe 'sorry' groupThe 'delighted' groupThe 'unwilling' groupThe 'willing' groupThe 'quick' and 'slow' groupThe 'certain' groupThe 'sure' groupThe 'able' groupThe 'right' groupThe 'lucky' and 'unlucky' groupAdjectives with other meaningsProductive usesOther related patterns

See related content

English Dictionary
English Dictionary
NEW from Collins!
NEW from Collins!
English Word Lists
English Word Lists
Easy Learning English Grammar
Easy Learning English Grammar
Word Lover's Blog
Word Lover's Blog
Online Scrabble Checker
Online Scrabble Checker
The Paul Noble Method
The Paul Noble Method
Create an account and sign in to access this FREE content
Register now or login in to access