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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
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    #1

    too black a view

    Hi,teachers.
    There is one thing I would like you to help me.I found this sentence when reading about Shakespeare :

    These plays are too serious,and there is too black a view of human nature.

    This sentence looks strange to me. Why is the adjective black put before the noun a view ?
    Is it a way of emphasis ? Please let me know.
    Thanks

  1. beascarpetta's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: too black a view

    Quote Originally Posted by kirimaru View Post

    These plays are too serious,and there is too black a view of human nature.
    Are you quite certain it didn't say too bleak a view ?

    This sentence looks strange to me. Why is the adjective black put before the noun a view ?
    Is it a way of emphasis ? Please let me know.
    Thanks
    to some extent at least
    too is sometimes used with an adjective in front of a noun in formal or literary English a /an is put after the adjective

    so you'd say

    this is too complex a problem to be dealt with here


    you would not say: this is a too complex problem

    some people also use too in front of words like kind to express their gratitude for something that someone has done

    you're too kind.
    Last edited by beascarpetta; 11-Apr-2008 at 16:15.

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #3

    Cool Re: too black a view

    Quote Originally Posted by beascarpetta View Post
    to some extent at least
    too is sometimes used with an adjective in front of a noun in formal or literary English a /an is put after the adjective
    I think it's not only in formal or literary English that too + adjective + (a/an) + noun is used. I'd say it's Standard English to say so.

    Speaking of formal use - this is where you can say that such use is formal:

    She's such a pretty girl. (standard)
    She's so pretty a girl. (formal)


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    #4

    Re: too black a view

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    I think it's not only in formal or literary English that too + adjective + (a/an) + noun is used. I'd say it's Standard English to say so.

    Speaking of formal use - this is where you can say that such use is formal:

    She's such a pretty girl. (standard)
    She's so pretty a girl. (formal)
    Actually I wouldn't accept your second sentence Engee. I think this structure only works with "too".

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: too black a view

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    Actually I wouldn't accept your second sentence Engee. I think this structure only works with "too".
    , but the sentence is nearly OK. If you made the "so" part of a "so ... that" construction, the sentence would work:'I didn't think she was so pretty a girl that she could charm the birds down from the trees".

    (NB: I'm not sure if 'charm the birds [down] from the trees' is common enough to be called an idiom; I got it from an Elvis Costello song.)

    b


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    #6

    Re: too black a view

    Quote Originally Posted by beascarpetta View Post
    These plays are too serious,and there is too black a view of human nature.

    Are you quite certain it didn't say too bleak a view ?



    yes,I am quite certain and there is no typing mistake here.


    Thank you all for helping me.

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    #7

    Question Re: too black a view

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    Actually I wouldn't accept your second sentence Engee. I think this structure only works with "too".
    So now all I need to get to know is why my first sentence is alright and the other is not?

    She's such a charming person (that) everybody likes her.
    She's such a charming person - everybody likes her.

    She is so charming a person (that) everyone seems to like her.
    She is so charming a person - everybody seems to like her.


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    #8

    Re: too black a view

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    , but the sentence is nearly OK. If you made the "so" part of a "so ... that" construction, the sentence would work:'I didn't think she was so pretty a girl that she could charm the birds down from the trees".
    b
    Yes you're dead right Bob. I apologise for sending in too hasty a reply!

    Apparently you can also use it with as and how, also however:
    Michael Swan* gives these examples:

    It was as pleasant a day as I have ever spent.
    Miss Langham arm in arm with Mr Peabody - how astonishing a sight!
    However good a sterio you have, you will never get absolutely perfect reproduction.

    And confirming your so....that, he gives:

    It was so warm a day that we decided to go to the sea.

    “Practical English Usage”, Michael Swan, OUP 1988, p. 18


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    #9

    Re: too black a view

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    So now all I need to get to know is why my first sentence is alright and the other is not?

    She's such a charming person (that) everybody likes her.
    She's such a charming person - everybody likes her.

    She is so charming a person (that) everyone seems to like her.
    She is so charming a person - everybody seems to like her.
    I think Bob has already given you your answer Engee. To make it acceptable you'd need a that.

  5. engee30's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: too black a view

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    I think Bob has already given you your answer Engee. To make it acceptable you'd need a that.
    Then all I can do is disagree with both of you, I hate to say.

    If we already know something about somebody or something we're talking about, we can use ellipsis, and there is no need to use a clause with that:

    (we all know people like her,) so we can say, She's such a charming person, or more formally and with more emphasis on the adjective, She's so charming a person. You might well not use the noun person, She is so charming.

    It's all about the emphasis you might want to put in a sentence. Here are some more examples (taken from different foremost dictionaries and textbooks):

    She's got three degrees. She's so intelligent a person!
    The garden seemed small for so large a house.
    I have never been to so expensive a restaurant before.
    I've bought so expensive a dress and now you say you don't like it!


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