an interesting lesson to be learned

Mezanie

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello everyone! :)

The above phrase is from a video. The interviewed person (mother tongue: English) is talking about a project of the interviewer. And he gives advice to the interviewer as to how to fund that project. After that he says:
"There is an interesting lesson to be learned for all of this."

What does "to be xx+ed" mean here? It's supposed to mean "something has to happen/someone has to do something", if I'm not mistaken, but I don't feel like that meaning fits into this context. Could the whole sentence mean something like: "You can learn an interesting lesson for all of this"?

Thank you for any replies in advance! :)
 
  • Mezanie

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Yes, I've checked it, that's what he said. Could have been just a slip of the tongue because I found that weird too. I think he meant to say "from all this".
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    You can learn an interesting lesson for from all of this.

    That's what it means but only if you understand that "you" in your sentence is a reference to people in general. It means anyone who studied the situation would learn the same lesson.

    In prior years, the standard way your paraphrase would have been written is "One can learn an interesting lesson from all of this." "One" clearly indicates a non-specific person (i.e. anyone) could learn that lesson. Nowadays it's common to say "you" instead of "one", which can sometimes cause uncertainty. Does the "you" mean the person the speaker is talking to or does the "you" mean everyone in the world?
     

    Mezanie

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    kentix: Thank you for your help! :)

    I think he means "you" as "people in general" in the sentence in question.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Well he didn't say "you". You did! :)

    His sentence is not potentially ambiguous because he doesn't say "you". He makes a general statement of truth that is not addressed to anyone in particular.
     
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