be comfortable <doing/to do> something

Discussion in 'English Only' started by vinci61, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. vinci61 Senior Member

    I am comfortable speaking French now.
    Can this sentence change into I am comfortable to speak Freanch now.

    And what is the difference here?
    Because normally we use to infinitive after adjectives, such as I am happy to do that.
    Thank you for all your answers here.:)
  2. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    The example sentence with "I am comfortable to speak" is not correct.

    I don't agree we normally use "to" infinitives after adjectives.

    1. "I am happy doing that." is a normal thing to say.

    2. "I am happy to do that.", with the same meaning as 1, is not said.

    3. "I am happy to do that (for you)" is a normal thing to say. We leave off the "for you" part when itis obvious from the situation.

    We do use the to-infinitive after an adjective in the form "It is <adj> to do <verb>", which means "Doing <verb> is <adj>":

    It is fun to party. Partying is fun.
    It is boring to study. Studying is boring.

    There may be other sentence forms where a to-infinitive is correct after an adjective. "We use to-infinitives after adjectives" is too broad a rule -- it is neither always true nor always false.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  3. vinci61 Senior Member

    Thank you for your great answer, but somehow you made it hard for me to understand.
    What about I am sorry to hear that<for you>? I heard I am sorry to hear that many times. I am sorry hearing that?:confused::confused::confused:
  4. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    You are right. I should not say we don't use "to" infinitives after adjectives. Some uses are okay, others are not.

    I am sorry to hear that.:tick:
    I am sorry to hear that for you.:thumbsdown:
    I am sorry hearing that.:confused:
    I felt sorry hearing that.:tick:
    I am comfortable to speak French. :thumbsdown:
    I am comfortable speaking French.:tick:
    I am happy to meet you.:tick:
    I am happy to play basketball.:thumbsdown:

    When I google "to infinitive after adjective" I get links to several grammar websites. The first one has a long list of adjectives that allow an infinitive after them:

    to + infinitive
  5. vinci61 Senior Member

    So you meant except for certain adjectives you use gerund after adjectives more often? You guys prefer gerund? Hope that is what you meant. Because other than this, I will find no so-called rules. Non native speakers are bad at understanding no-rule thing.

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