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  1. #1
    Greg Pyszczek is offline Newbie
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    Post It is fun for me to...

    It is fun for me to swim in the sea.
    It is interesting for me to write a letter.
    It is exciting for me to play sport.
    I'm seeing these types of sentences from my students more and more. I thought they were wrong at first but I'm starting to doubt myself due to the high number of sentences being written like this. Am I being overly fussy? I've had trouble finding a clear answer to my question elsewhere or any examples of this writing style for that matter.

    My thoughts are that this is wrong because it mixes third person (it) with first person (me). I've been correcting the students by changing it to one or the other, for example:
    It is fun for me to swim in the sea.
    I think it is fun to swim in the sea.
    Or, swimming in the sea is fun for me.

    By the way, I'm teaching ESL at a cram school in Japan so I need to keep it simple.

  2. #2
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: It is fun for me to...

    Here's my take on this.

    Your reasoning about mixing third and first person doesn't make much sense to me. Furthermore, you can't simply replace for me with I think and guarantee you keep the same meaning. Let's break down the semantics:

    It is fun to swim in the sea.

    On a surface analysis, this is presented as an objective and universally applicable statement of fact—in other words, it's fun for everyone. Any implication of it being merely a subjective and personally applicable statement of opinion comes from context.

    In contrast, the addition of the qualifying for me phrase makes the sentence unambiguously a statement of opinion. For this reason, it's hard to argue that for me is redundant, semantically and pragmatically speaking. I understand that your addition of I think is a way to disambiguate this, and you're right of course that it does to a large extent, but I don't think it will always work completely and necessarily, and so I don't think it's the best solution available.

    I do share your feeling that the phrasing in question is rather unsatisfactory, and although I'd stop short of saying that it is wrong, I would also feel an urge to correct it to a better form of expression, as it sounds a little unnatural and frankly quite childish. On a practical note, given that you're teaching low-level young learners, I'd suggest this:

    I find it fun to swim in the sea.

    [find it + adjective + to-infinitive]

    Alternatively, of course, keep it even more simple. If the idea of the sentence is just to say what activities one personally enjoys doing, then:

    I like swimming in the sea.

    [like + doing something]
    Last edited by jutfrank; 03-Mar-2021 at 22:22.

  3. #3
    Maybo is offline Senior Member
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    Re: It is fun for me to...

    Oh, I've been using this kind of expression "It is fun for me to swim in the sea" for years. I wrote something like "It's difficult for me to do it."
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

  4. #4
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: It is fun for me to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybo View Post
    Oh, I've been using this kind of expression "It is fun for me to swim in the sea" for years. I wrote something like "It's difficult for me to do it."
    I don't have much of an issue with it but it's much more natural to say "I enjoy swimming in the sea" or "I find swimming in the sea a lot of fun".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. #5
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: It is fun for me to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybo View Post
    Oh, I've been using this kind of expression "It is fun for me to swim in the sea" for years. I wrote something like "It's difficult for me to do it."
    It's perfectly okay to use the pattern difficult/easy for someone to do something. That isn't quite the same as what we're discussing here.

  6. #6
    Greg Pyszczek is offline Newbie
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    Lightbulb Re: It is fun for me to...

    Thank you for the quick reply, it helps a lot. I've also seen other words slotted in which worry me more. For example "It is interesting for me to swim in the sea" which is where my third person concern stems from. It sounds like an observation of themself rather than a personal opinion. In which case it sounds like other people find it interesting that I am swimming in the sea and that's rather odd in a normal context (at the beach in summer). "I find it interesting to swim in the sea" as you suggested sounds much better. How about "swimming in the sea is interesting for me"?

  7. #7
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: It is fun for me to...

    I don't think 'interesting' is the right word there. Swimming in the sea is not 'interesting', unless perhaps you're an amateur marine archaeologist, or an avid fishwatcher.

    Don't you think the learner meant to say 'enjoyable'?

  8. #8
    Greg Pyszczek is offline Newbie
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    Re: It is fun for me to...

    Ah, the student wanted "interesting" specifically as they went on to write about being able to see many fish in the sea. I even asked in Japanese. I see how other students may not know "enoyable" though, the text books only tend to use "like".
    Last edited by Greg Pyszczek; 05-Mar-2021 at 06:35.

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: It is fun for me to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pyszczek View Post
    Ah, they wanted "interesting" specifically as they went on to write about being able to see many fish in the sea. I even asked in Japanese. I see how others may not know "likeable" though; the text books only tend to use "like".
    Note my addition of punctuation above. It's important to make specific words you are talking about (or exemplifying) stand out in some way. I have underlined two words. Who are "they" and who are "others"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  10. #10
    Greg Pyszczek is offline Newbie
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    Red face Re: It is fun for me to...

    Thank you for that, I should take the time to punctuate my sentences.

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