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  1. #1
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    Default To trifle with or to be trifled with

    Hello,

    Is it correct to say:

    Depression is not something to trifle with
    or
    Depression is not something to be trifled with.

    The whole sentence is: Depression is not something to trifle with as it is a serious medical condition and should be taken seriously.

  2. #2
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: To trifle with or to be trifled with

    Quote Originally Posted by Abusaad
    Hello,

    Is it correct to say:

    Depression is not something to trifle with
    or
    Depression is not something to be trifled with.

    The whole sentence is: Depression is not something to trifle with as it is a serious medical condition and should be taken seriously.

    Both ways are correct.

    to trifle - infinitive

    to be trifled - infinitive to be + past participle - passive voice

    We can use both. In this case I think "to be trifled with" sounds good. In other sentences "to be + past participle" might not sound so good.

  3. #3
    wunaide Guest

    Default Re: To trifle with or to be trifled with

    Others might disagree, but to me, usage dictates that there is a slight distinction in meaning between "to trifle with" and "to be trifled with" that goes beyond a question of passive vs active". It might be putting too fine a point on it, but for me "to trifle with something" has a fairly broad meaning that includes that of "to fiddle with something" in the sense that there is physical contact and or interference involved, while "to be trifled with" has a rather more restricted sense of "to be not taken seriously", and does not carry the same implication of physical contact and/or inteference.

    Thus though I would myself much prefer

    depression is not something to be trifled with as it is a serious medical condition

    over

    depression is not something to trifle with as it is a serious medical condition,

    I don't like

    depression is not something to be trifled with as it is a serious medical condition and should be taken seriously

    as to my mind it contains a redundancy (ie not something to be trifled with = should be taken seriously).

  4. #4
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: To trifle with or to be trifled with

    Quote Originally Posted by wunaide
    Others might disagree, but to me, usage dictates that there is a slight distinction in meaning between "to trifle with" and "to be trifled with" that goes beyond a question of passive vs active". It might be putting too fine a point on it, but for me "to trifle with something" has a fairly broad meaning that includes that of "to fiddle with something" in the sense that there is physical contact and or interference involved, while "to be trifled with" has a rather more restricted sense of "to be not taken seriously", and does not carry the same implication of physical contact and/or inteference.

    Thus though I would myself much prefer

    depression is not something to be trifled with as it is a serious medical condition

    over

    depression is not something to trifle with as it is a serious medical condition,

    I don't like

    depression is not something to be trifled with as it is a serious medical condition and should be taken seriously

    as to my mind it contains a redundancy (ie not something to be trifled with = should be taken seriously).
    I see what you mean about the slight distinction.

    As far the sentences go, I'm not so sure I see a reduncancy in the last one. However, I understand what you're getting at. I'm just not so sure I'd label it as a redundancy. It's something to consider. I see your point, though.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Interesting. I like your posts, wunaide.

    FRC

  6. #6
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    Default

    Thank you X Mode and wunaide. I have got the point.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Here is one more question.

    Depression is not something to live with for life.

    Depression is not something to live with for a life.

    Should there be an "a" before life?

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Abusaad
    Here is one more question.

    Depression is not something to live with for life.

    Depression is not something to live with for a life.

    Should there be an "a" before life?
    Depression is not something one should (have to) live with for a lifetime. :wink:

  9. #9
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    Default

    Thank you very much Casiopea.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abusaad
    Thank you very much Casiopea.
    You're welcome. :D

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