to read VS to be read

Discussion in 'English Only' started by MaximuS.111, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. MaximuS.111

    MaximuS.111 Senior Member

    ukraine
    russian
    Hey! Could you guys please tell me whether both of those correct?
    This book is difficult to read
    This book is difficult to be read.

    If so, what's the difference?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    The second version is grammatically correct, but it does not sound very fluent to me. I prefer the first one.
     
  3. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    1. is English, 2. is not.
     
  4. MaximuS.111

    MaximuS.111 Senior Member

    ukraine
    russian
    What about
    This task is difficult to do (It's easy to do it)
    and
    This task is difficult to be done. (Almost nobody can do it)
    ?
     
  5. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    I don't understand your precisions here.

    This task is difficult to do. :tick: (It's not easy to do it.)
    This task is difficult to be done. :cross: (As teddy says... not English.)
     
  6. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    1. is English, 2. is not. 1. means something very similar to "This task is difficult".
     
  7. MaximuS.111

    MaximuS.111 Senior Member

    ukraine
    russian
    Thanks, guys!
    Best,
    M
     
  8. vinci61 Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thank you guys. But why is that to be read is not English?
     
  9. Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    Wisconsin
    English - United States
    "The book is difficult to be read" is not a grammatically correct sentence in English.

    The words in the sentence are, of course, English.
     
  10. vinci61 Senior Member

    Chinese
    why isn't it grammatically correct?
    To me, it works just fine. Because book is read by humans. For example. The house is to be let= The house is to let.
    Why can't read be used that way?
     
  11. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    If your teacher says: "The book is to be read by Friday" it's another way of saying "You are to read the book by Friday.".

    "The book is difficult to be read" is just not idiomatic--we would always say "The book is difficult to read."
     
  12. vinci61 Senior Member

    Chinese
    OK. Thank you and Ms. Florentia 52,Hope my wording in #10 is not too horrid. I like to be direct, hope people don't think I am rude.
     
  13. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    You can say "This book is to be read by ten-year-olds", "This book is to be read by Friday" etc. They mean "This book is intended to be read..."

    But if you add "difficult" it changes the meaning, and you can't use the same construction. Using the construction "to be + past participle" often has the sense of intention.
     
  14. Truffula

    Truffula Senior Member

    English - USA
    You could, though, say, "This book is too difficult to be read." It would mean that the book is never read because reading it is too difficult.

    "This book is too difficult to read" sounds like a complaint or like the book is too difficult for the speaker or the speaker's group. "This book is too difficult to be read" sounds like a general pronouncement about the book's difficulty for a wider category of people - the sort of thing a librarian or teacher would say about a book that is not suitable for students due to its difficulty level.

    Context where you might see this: "The third grade teacher read a chapter of a book to her class each afternoon. In March, she chose Beowulf to read to the class. The other teachers said that Beowulf was too difficult to be read to third graders, but she did not agree."
     
  15. vinci61 Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thank you for your insight.:)

    Thank you, too. Thank both of you. I think I understand it a little bit.:)
     

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