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  1. #1
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    Default Sorry, another to/from question...

    Hello all,

    I had looked at many of the previous posts discussing to/from in the context of:

    Studying English is important to me.
    Studying English is important for me.

    There were many good explanations on nuances, but I was wondering if there was any set rule for the adjectives preceding the to/for phrase.

    It is NOT important for me to discuss the difference between for/to with my learner, but it IS important for me to tell her when/why we decide on to or for.

    For example:
    Studying English is difficult to me.
    Studying English is difficult for me.

    easy for me/
    easy to me

    The form I want to analyze is:
    be + adjective + for/to + subject.


    The more I think about the problem, the more 'natural' unnatural things sound... I've consulted grammar books and scanned all over the net, but haven't found a satisfactory answer. Can anyone help? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sorry, another to/from question...

    Not every adjective has both a 'to' and 'for' prepositional construction.

    Studying English is difficult to me.
    Studying English is difficult for me.
    compare: difficult to do (verb)

    easy for me
    easy to
    compare : easy to learn (verb)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sorry, another to/from question...

    Thanks much for the reply, David!

    But in what cases can you say something is (adj.) for me vs. (adj.) to me?

    My learner has consistently made mistakes saying: "English is difficult to me. Writing emails is tough to me. But speaking is easy to me..." I was wondering how I would go about correcting this problem instead of just saying: "Well... in America, we use 'for'."

    Do you have any tips as to how to know when to use "for" and when to use "to"?

    Grammatically, you can say:
    Reading is fun to me.
    Reading is fun for me.

    but you can't say:
    Reading is impossible to me.

    I believe there is some connection to the adjective used, but what rule is there for which adjectives can use "to" and which adjectives can use "for"?

  4. #4
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Sorry, another to/from question...

    He hasn't done anything to you. (= nothing bad)
    He hasn't done anything for you. (=nothing good)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sorry, another to/from question...

    Thanks for the reply Clark,

    But I was wondering what adjectives can only take the for-phrase (easy for me, good for me, etc.) vs. which adjectives can only take the to-phrase (important to me, she's always good to me...)

    But thanks for the example~

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sorry, another to/from question...

    Clark - 'anything' is not an adjective - it's a pronoun.

  7. #7
    rj1948 is offline Senior Member
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      • Academic
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      • Tamil
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      • India
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      • India
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    Default Re: Sorry, another to/from question...

    Thanks much for the reply, David!

    But in what cases can you say something is (adj.) for me vs. (adj.) to me?

    My learner has consistently made mistakes saying: "English is difficult to me. Writing emails is tough to me. But speaking is easy to me..." I was wondering how I would go about correcting this problem instead of just saying: "Well... in America, we use 'for'."

    Do you have any tips as to how to know when to use "for" and when to use "to"?

    Grammatically, you can say:
    Reading is fun to me.
    Reading is fun for me.

    but you can't say:
    Reading is impossible to me.

    I believe there is some connection to the adjective used, but what rule is there for which adjectives can use "to" and which adjectives can use "for"?

    KINDLY SEE IF THESE ARE HELPFUL.
    For is generally used in ...for +noun
    for me,for him, for a lunchfor the lift,for your help...
    Note :for+noun.
    For+..ing.
    for writing,for helping,

    TO:to+verb.
    to go,to speak(infinitives).
    These are general guidelines .
    Usage differs according to the context.
    Regards,
    rj1948.
    Last edited by rj1948; 10-Jun-2008 at 08:49. Reason: typo and My response is to the thread starter

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sorry, another to/from question...

    It is not the adjective, but the meaning conveyed when we choose 'to' or 'for'.
    Suppose:
    John cannot read - he is illiterate.
    He says to his child, who is reading a book:
    "Reading seems fun to me."
    The child says, "Yes. Reading is fun for me."
    Let's start there. Can you see the difference in meaning?


    I can think of expressions like, "Learning languages comes/seems easy to me" but not 'is easy to me." - it would be, "...is easy for me."
    So -
    Knitting seems difficult to me. (speaker is a mere male non-knitter)
    Knitting is difficult for me because of my arthritis. (female speaker adept at knitting)
    Last edited by David L.; 10-Jun-2008 at 08:52.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sorry, another to/from question...

    Hey everyone,

    Thank you all so much for your replies. They are very helpful!

    And thanks David; yes, I hadn't thought of that sentence: "Learning languages comes easy to me." Hrm. I wonder what sort of rule there is. I've been busting my brain for how to teach it.

    Well, OK. So we established it's not the adjective preceeding 'for' or 'to'. Hm. But in both instances, you switched to verb "be" to "seems".... Maybe that's part of the problem. Well, sorry for the convoluted problem. Thanks much for all the assistance! I'll definitely put some thought into those example sentences you sent~

    Tak

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