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    #1

    "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natural?

    "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natural?

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natu

    Neither sounds very natural to me. What is it that can be eaten 'comfortably'?
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 16-Sep-2016 at 09:18.

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    #3

    Re: "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natu

    Soft food by an elderly man.

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    #4

    Re: "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natu

    Elderly men don't necessarily need soft food. Is there an issue with his teeth?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natu

    Yes. He bites hard food with difficulty.

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    #6

    Re: "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natu

    Quote Originally Posted by MeyaN View Post
    "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natural?
    What came to my mind was that something is perhaps hot, and it needs to cool before you can eat it without burning your mouth. I would say:

    "It can be comfortably eaten [after cooling for 30 minutes]".

    Both of your sentences are usable, and I'd understand you, but the most 'natural' way is my way, because though we can place an adverb after the verb it modifies, in this case, you want to be clear it is the action of eating that is clearly referred to by 'comfortably'. Being comfortable lying on the couch while you eat is a possible interpretation of, "It can be eaten comfortably".

    If that is in fact your meaning, then I'd clarify the sentence by actually saying something about the couch and you being comfortable on it.


    P.S. I just saw your post...
    Soft food by an elderly man.
    "It can be comfortably eaten" written by itself would be the better form, however, "It can be eaten comfortably by an elderly man" would be okay because now you have provided enough context to disambiguate your intent.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 16-Sep-2016 at 09:53. Reason: Fixing typo.

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    #7

    Re: "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natu

    Thank you Chinadan for explaining different scenarios.

    And, "It can comfortably be eaten" can be used without any qualms, right? Because using this way stresses the adverb 'comfortably' more.

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    #8

    Re: "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natu

    My approach to English is a little different to some. To me, there is a subtle difference between the various ways we have formed this sentence throughout this discussion. If I was writing something highly informative, I would take the time to consider such matters, and chose my words with care for such fine points, or even completely rephrase something until I was satisfied that the meaning was given with clarity and eloquence.

    Note: I do not usually go to such lengths on this forum.

    Yes, your example is fine, and it is very similar indeed to the other examples. But it is not identical.

    However, you need to ask if that matters? Most of the time, the answer will be "no", so just use whichever of these forms you prefer.

    Only remember this: When you write something, you know what you mean, so if your sentence contains ambiguity you might not notice it. The meaning will be perfectly clear to you. If you have time, put your writing aside for several days or a week, then come back and see if the meaning is instantly clear to you. If you find you have to think back on what your point was to make sense of what you wrote, then you have not written your story clearly enough

    When you write - and later proofread - try to be mindful of this fact.

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    #9

    Re: "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natu

    Quote Originally Posted by MeyaN View Post
    "It can comfortably be eaten" can be used without any qualms, right? Because using this way stresses the adverb 'comfortably' more.
    The problem for me is simply that 'comfortably', wherever we put it, is not an adverb that I associate with the eating of food.

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    #10

    Re: "It can comfortably be eaten" or "It can be eaten comfortably". Which sounds natu

    "Most of the time, the answer will be"no", so just use whichever of these forms you prefer."

    Most times is more suitable in the above sentence you used, right Chinadan? Comments, please.

    And thank you for your valuable piece of input to form eloquent sentences.

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