preparatory "it"

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nautes20

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Hi, Teachers... :D

Why is the first sentence ungrammatical?
I think the first sentence has a similar structure to the fourth.

1. I found to read this book difficult.
2. I found this book difficult to read.
3. I found it difficult to read this book.
4. I found reading this book difficult.

Best regards
 

Mister Micawber

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(1) is grammatically OK and not uncommon in the spoken language, though we would more likely add a 'was' before the 'difficult'; (4), however, is more standard and clearer in intent.
 

nautes20

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Thanks a lot....

Mister Micawber said:
(1) is grammatically OK and not uncommon in the spoken language, though we would more likely add a 'was' before the 'difficult'; (4), however, is more standard and clearer in intent.
 

Steven D

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1. I found to read this book difficult. <<

I don't find this sentence to be okay or correct. I would not say it, and I would not expect to hear it. I would not expect it in spoken language or written language.

I suggest one of the following:

1. I found reading this book difficult.

2. I found that it was difficult to read this book.
 

Casiopea

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nautes20 said:
Hi, Teachers... :D

Why is the first sentence ungrammatical?
I think the first sentence has a similar structure to the fourth.

1. I found to read this book difficult.
2. I found this book difficult to read.
3. I found it difficult to read this book.
4. I found reading this book difficult.

Best regards

I see where MM is going, and as stated, 1. is OK, but given the pattern you're looking at, have you thought about the kind of object the verb 'found' subcategorizes for?

I found + Non-finite Clause
I found it difficult to read this book.
I found reading this book (to be) difficult.
I found this book (to be) difficult to read

I found to read this book (to be) difficult. (Odd)

Infinitive 'to read' refers to an unactualized event. If the main verb is 'found', past tense, then the book has been read, so use present participle 'reading', which expresses an actualized event.
 

Steven D

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Casiopea said:
X Mode said:
I don't find sentence 1) to be okay or correct. I would not say it, and I would not expect to hear it. I would not expect it in spoken language or written language.

Agreed. As is, it's not grammatical, but notice that words 'spoken language':

MM said:
1) is grammatically OK and not uncommon in the spoken language, though we would more likely add a 'was' before the 'difficult'.

OK. I know it's a stretch, but not only is it possible, it's amicable. :wink:

Yes, it's too much of a stretch for me. If a student asked me about this in the form of a "Can I say... " question, I would say, "No, you can't say it." And then I would explain why. I would not say it just like that, but you know, I would not say that the sentence is all right even for informal spoken language. It's not grammatical. I don't find this to be an issue of disputed usage. To me, it's an ESL/EFL student error.

I believe that a gerund follows "find".

X Mode wrote:

I don't find sentence 1) to be okay or correct. I would not say it, and I would not expect to hear it. I would not expect it in spoken language or written language.


Agreed. As is, it's not grammatical, but notice that words 'spoken language': <<<

I noticed that. Even in spoken language this doesn't work. It's not something that is correct even in what one could call the "informal/colloquial" side of the English langauge.

:D
 

Steven D

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I believe that a gerund follows "find". <<<<

I found a book to read that was interesting.

I found reading that book difficult.

I found that in order to read that book, some patience was required.
 

Steven D

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Why is the first sentence ungrammatical?

I think the first sentence has a similar structure to the fourth.

1. I found to read this book difficult. <<

There are lists of verbs that are followed by gerunds and verbs that are followed by infinitives. If a verb is not on one of those lists, then I would use a gerund when a verb is the object of another verb. Gerunds are "ing" forms of a verb used as nouns.

It's possible to use "to + verb" after "find", but "to" would then take on the meaning of "in order to" or "so that". This doesn't mean that "so that" and "in order to" can be used to replace "to" in such a sentence.

Here's what I mean:

The best way I found to read this book was in small doses, so that I could fully digest each rich chapter before starting on the next one.

In the above sentence, "to" takes on the meaning of "so that". However, we can't replace "to" with "so that". (Small doses made it possible to read this book.)



http://www.google.com/search?q="I+found+to+read"&hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&start=30&sa=N


Here's another:

I found that to read this book it was best to not go too fast.

In the above sentence, "to" takes on the meaning of "in order to" or "if I wanted to".

I found that in order to read this book, it was best to not go too fast.

I found that if I wanted to read this book, it was best to not go too fast.

Other than that I would use a gerund after "find".

I found reading that book difficult. I often had to put it down to look up words in the dictionary. Anyway, I still thought it was a good book.

____________________________________________________

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv146.shtml

I went to school to study.

I went to school in order to study.

I found that to read this book and to understand it well I had to take my time. I couldn't go too fast.

I found that in order to read this book and understand it well, I had to take my time. I couldn't go too fast.

I found reading this book was difficult but necessary.

I found that to read this book I had to take my time, but it was necessary.
 

Casiopea

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X Mode said:
I believe that a gerund follows "find".

I agree, but it doesn't have to be a gerund, right? It can be any nominal: a gerund, a possessive noun phrase, a simple noun, even a clause :

EX: I found reading difficult. (Gerund, noun)
EX: I found my keys. (Noun, possessive noun)
EX: I found Max. (Noun, simple noun)
EX: I found (that) they hadn't studied for the exam. (Clause)

The following examples, however, do not fit the argument:

In the example below, 'to read' is not the direct object of 'found'. It's part of an adjective phrase that modifies 'book':

EX: I found a book to read that was interesting.

In the example below, 'in order to read that book' does not function as the object of 'found'. It functions as an adverbial phrase:

EX: I found that in order to read that book, some patience was required.
EX: I found some patience was required (in order) to read that book.
 

Steven D

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Casiopea said:
X Mode said:
I believe that a gerund follows "find".
I agree, but it doesn't have to be a gerund, right? It can be any nominal: a gerund, a possessive noun phrase, a simple noun, even a clause : <<<<

Yes, I agree. However, I was speaking of "verbals".

EX: I found reading difficult. (Gerund, noun)
EX: I found my keys. (Noun, possessive noun)
EX: I found Max. (Noun, simple noun)
EX: I found (that) they hadn't studied for the exam. (Clause)

The following examples, however, do not fit the argument:

In the example below, 'to read' is not the direct object of 'found'. It's part of an adjective phrase that modifies 'book': <<<<

No, it doesn't function as the object of "found". However, it still follows "found" and it precedes "read". This gives us an infinitive. I just wanted to be clear about this in light of my previous statement which was, "A gerund follows find."

EX: I found a book to read that was interesting.

In the example below, 'in order to read that book' does not function as the object of 'found'. It functions as an adverbial phrase:

EX: I found that in order to read that book, some patience was required.
EX: I found some patience was required (in order) to read that book.

No, it doesn't function as the object of "found". However, it still follows "found" and it precedes "read". This gives us an infinitive. I just wanted to be clear about this in light of my previous statement which was, "A gerund follows find."

And in this way "to" takes on the meaning of "in order to", which makes it so that "to read" can follow "found".

I found that to read this book some patience was required.
 

Casiopea

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Gotcha. Thanks. :D

:hi: About quoting, start by highlighting the text you want to quote then click on the Quote button above. After you do that the quotation will look like this,
Code:
[quote="Casiopea"] blah-blah-blah. [/quote]
. :D

Hope that helps.

Oh, and also, if you want to drop in a link, such as, say, Google, highlight the link then click on the URL button above. After you do that the link should look like this,
Code:
 [url][url]www.http/blah-blah-blah[/url][/url]
Next, replace the second square bracket of [url] with the symbol =, like this,
Code:
[url]www becomes [url=www
Then add a closing square bracket at the end of the address, after the last 'blah', and write in your link word(s), like this,
Code:
[url=www.htttp/blah-blah-blah]Source[/url]
 

Steven D

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Member Type
English Teacher
Casiopea said:
Gotcha. Thanks. :D

:hi: About quoting, start by highlighting the text you want to quote then click on the Quote button above. After you do that the quotation will look like this,
Code:
[quote="Casiopea"] blah-blah-blah. [/quote]
. :D

Hope that helps.

Oh, and also, if you want to drop in a link, such as, say, Google, highlight the link then click on the URL button above. After you do that the link should look like this,
Code:
 [url][url]www.http/blah-blah-blah[/url][/url]
Next, replace the second square bracket of [url] with the symbol =, like this,
Code:
[url]www becomes [url=www
Then add a closing square bracket at the end of the address, after the last 'blah', and write in your link word(s), like this,
Code:
[url=www.htttp/blah-blah-blah]Source[/url]


Thanks. I'll have to keep the quote button in mind. I find remembering things like this to be helpful.

Know what I mean? That's how I find it. :D :p
 

nautes20

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Oct 23, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
what does that mean?

Thanks , Casiopea...

You said :I see where MM is going, and as stated, 1. is OK,

If 1 is ok, what does that mean?

Best regards...
 

Casiopea

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Re: what does that mean?

nautes20 said:
Thanks , Casiopea...

You said :I see where MM is going, and as stated, 1. is OK,

If 1 is ok, what does that mean?

Best regards...

I believe MM is the one you should be asking. :wink:

By the by, did you have a question about preparatory "it"?
 

nautes20

Member
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Oct 23, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Thanks a lot...but...

Hi,

I have an additional question...

You said :1) is grammatically OK and not uncommon in the spoken language

Others said that "found" is followed by a gerund.

Could you explain "grammatically OK" in details?

Best regards...
 
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