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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    It was all in vain that we had tried so hard - substitution

    Hello everybody!

    Could I replace "It was all in vain that we had tried so hard" with "It was all in vain for us to have tried so hard"?

    I think so, yet I may be wrong.

    Thank you.

  2. Key Member
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    #2

    Re: It was all in vain that we had tried so hard - substitution

    I think the phrase sounds better in the later part of a sentence:
    We tried so hard but it was all in vain.
    http://fraze.it/n_search.jsp?q=all+in+vain&l=0
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: It was all in vain that we had tried so hard - substitution

    Yes, J., that's what I was trying to tell you in your other thread. The phrasing "in vain for" is unnatural. In this example, it belongs at the end. You could say "useless for." That would mean the same thing and sound natural.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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