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    #1

    It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and form

    Hello everybody!

    It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions.

    I have two questions about the sentence in question. 1) Which form is right:
    "It is meddlesome of him to keep asking troublesome questions" or "It is meddlesome for him to keep asking troublesome questions"?


    2) Supppose that "It is meddlesome of him to keep asking troublesome questions" means the same as "It is meddlesome for him to keep asking troublesome questions", does it mean that "He is in the nasty habit of interfering in other people's lives" or "He has a nasty habit of being busybody in other people's matters".

    What do you think?

    Thank you.

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and fo

    Every time you talk about someone's behaviour, you can use the structure It is + adjective + of + object.
    Now, can you actually imagine a situation where you could use the other structure that you would be able to think of as logical? If not, then you've got the answer which one to use.

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    #3

    Re: It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and fo

    I am asking because I also saw the version with "for', namely, "It is meddlesome for him to keep asking troublesome questions".


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    #4

    Re: It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and fo

    The infinitival construction with for normally tells us that the subject of such a construction is affected in some way or another by the qualitative meaning of the adjective.

    Let me give you the perfect example of what I mean:
    It was good for him to leave the party early. (He managed to catch his train back because he had left early)
    vs
    It was good of him to leave the party early. (He had been a nuisance at the party. When he left, everything changed perfectly normal again)

    Again, context is key.

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    #5

    Re: It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and fo

    Does rearranging the sentences clarify the question?

    "To keep asking troublesome questions
    is meddlesome of him."

    "For him to keep asking troublesome questions is meddlesome."

    The phrases break differently. I'll leave it to you to parse them.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and fo

    I can't think of a context for "It is meddlesome for him ..."
    With this structure, eg. "It is difficult for him to lift the weight" it is he who feels the difficulty. Meddlesomeness is not something he can experience. "Children are meddlesome"; "He finds children meddlesome"; but not "Children are meddlesome for him."

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    #7

    Re: It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and fo

    See my post #5. I don't know how to describe the grammar of the two sentences, but the one with for following "meddlesome" doesn't use an expression "meddlesome for".
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and fo

    "For him to keep asking troublesome questions is meddlesome" = "His keeping asking troublesome questions is meddlesome" = "The fact that he keeps asking troublesome questions is meddlesome".
    Last edited by JACEK1; 26-Mar-2016 at 17:29.

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    #9

    Re: It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and fo

    Yes, that's right. It's not meddlesome for him. It's meddlesome in the opinion of other people.

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    #10

    Re: It is meddlesome of/for him to keep asking troublesome questions - meaning and fo

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    See my post #5. I don't know how to describe the grammar of the two sentences, but the one with for following "meddlesome" doesn't use an expression "meddlesome for".
    You don't have a sentence with 'for' following 'meddlesome' in post #5. If you did, in what way would it not use the expression "meddlesome for"?

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