are you comfortable with something?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by stephenlearner, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. stephenlearner Senior Member

    Chinese
    Hi,

    Can I say somebody is comfortable with something? For instance,
    Are you comfortable with the new shoes?
    No, they are too tight. They are pinching my toes.

    If not, what should I say?

    Thanks
     
  2. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    London
    British English
    Are your new shoes comfortable?

    Do your new shoes feel comfortable?


    Hermione
     
  3. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Can I say somebody is comfortable with something? Yes

    For instance,

    Are you comfortable with the new shoes? :cross:
    No, they are too tight. They are pinching my toes.


    No.

    Are your new shoes comfortable ? :tick:
    No, they are too tight. They are pinching my toes.

    Comfortable is an attribute of the shoes, not of you.

    The phrasal verb is "to be comfortable with [something]" It is usually used when asking how someone would feel with the idea of something happening.

    A: "I know you do not like David, but would you be comfortable with the idea of his coming to dinner on Tuesday?" i.e. would you feel happy if David came to dinner or, if he came, would you feel uncomfortable?



     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  4. stephenlearner Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thank you very much.
     
  5. Yichen

    Yichen Senior Member

    Chinese
    I have no problem with sentence2, but why is sentence1 incorrect?
    I think sentence3 is correct, and I think it means something like the new shoes are suitable for some occasions, doesn't it?
    My puzzle is,
    Is sentence 1 grammatically wrong?
    or
    The sentence itself is correct, but it doesn't fit the potential meaning the speaker wants to express?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  6. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    Hi, Yichen.

    1 is weird because the question asks how the customer feels about the shoes/what the customer thinks about the shoes. There is nothing wrong with the grammar, but the meaning doesn't fit the situation.

    When you are merely asking whether a pair of shoes fits or feels comfortable, it makes much more sense to ask if the shoes are comfortable.
     
  7. Yichen

    Yichen Senior Member

    Chinese
    Got it.
    Thank you.

    This sentence would be fine:
    Are you comfortable with the new shoes’ color?
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  8. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    When we ask somebody whether they are "comfortable" with something, we often ask that because we suspect they may find it unsettling in some way - it's a question about someone's emotional reaction. It's unlikely anyone would get seriously uneasy at the sight of a pair of shoes. Your example is better phrased as "Do you like the colour of the new shoes?"

    I'm going to invite my ex-husband to our daughter's wedding. Are you comfortable with that?
     
  9. Yichen

    Yichen Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thank you.
     

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