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    #1

    Busy to

    Hello,

    I would like to know if it sounds natural to say:

    I am busy to help you right now. Sorry, much better a bit later.

    Are you busy to do this?

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by ratóncolorao; 30-Nov-2014 at 14:39.

  1. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Busy to

    It is not natural.
    "Sorry, I'm too busy to help you now. A bit later would much better."

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    #3

    Re: Busy to

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    James: Can you help me?

    Mona: Sorry, I can't. I'm busy right now.


    ***

    James: Can you help me?

    Mona: Sorry, I can't. I'm too busy to help you.

    a. Some books say (I agree with them) that the infinitive phrase "to help you" modifies the adverb "too." In other words: I am too to help you busy. (Of course, one never speaks like this. It is only for the sake of analysis.)
    Last edited by TheParser; 30-Nov-2014 at 15:27. Reason: spacing

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    #4

    Re: Busy to

    Thanks.

    What about with adjective "excited"?

    Can we say "I am excited to be a dad", "I am excited to teach my son the importance of ...."

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    #5

    Re: Busy to

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    "She is difficult to please." The infinitive phrase modifies the adjective. "It tells in what respect she is difficult." -- House and Harman, Descriptive English Grammar (1950).

    "The dean is ready to see you now." Same explanation. -- Pence and Emery, Grammar of Present-Day English (1963).

    I think that it is reasonable to say, then, that this analysis also applies to "excited." That is, it tells in what respect you are excited.

    (That information from those "old" books is still true today in 2014, I believe.)
    Last edited by TheParser; 30-Nov-2014 at 16:02. Reason: punctuation

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Busy to

    I find "I am excited to + bare infinitive" unnatural.

    I am excited about being a dad.
    I am excited about teaching my son the importance ...
    I am excited to be going on holiday next week.
    I am excited to be starting a new job in January.

    This might be a regional variation, of course.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Busy to

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I find "I am excited to + bare infinitive" unnatural.

    I am NOT questioning your statement.

    I am not a very good reader, so I need your help in clearing up some confusion in my mind.

    In "I am excited to be here," I thought that the "to" is the sign (marker) of the infinitive. I did not think that it necessarily belonged to "excited."

    And the term "bare infinitive," I thought, meant an infinitive without "to": Please help me clear up my confusion.


    Thank you

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Busy to

    I see them as :

    I am excited to ...
    I am excited about ...

    I am excited to go = I am excited to + bare infinitive
    I am excited about going = I am excited about + gerund

    Both of those refer to the future. I find "I am excited to be here" somewhat different. It refers to the present and, on that basis, I feel "to be here" is appropriate.

    I would like to clarify that when I said I would use "I am excited about being a father", I assumed the speaker had just found out his wife/girlfriend was pregnant so being a father is in the future. I have no issue really with "I am excited to be a father" if the child has already been born, although I would find "Being a father makes me happy/excited" a more natural construction.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: Busy to

    I agree with James here. In "I am excited to be here", "excited" is an adjective. "To be here" is an infinitive phrase. It modifies the adjective "excited" and "to" is part of the infinitive. I think you are trying to turn "excited to" and excited about" to be phrasal verbs. I don't agree with that.

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