Bob is a short guy for the basketball coach to put in the game.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Jawel7, May 25, 2018.

  1. Jawel7

    Jawel7 Senior Member

    Turkish
    Hello everyone.
    My sentence is "Bob is a short guy for the basketball coach to put in the game.", which is from an English linguistic document.

    Could you please tell me what the function of "for the basketball coach to put in the game" is exactly?

    For example, Is it grammatically correct to put it at the beginning?
    "For the basketball coach to put in the game, Bob is a short guy."
    I think it is totally wrong grammatically and I don't think that it is natural.

    In spite of that, if there was just "for the basketball coach" in that sentence, we would be able to put it at the beginning and it would be natural.

    "For the basketball coach, Bob is a short guy." :tick:
    "For the basketball coach to put in the game, Bob is a short guy.":cross:
    "To put in the game, Bob is a short guy":cross:
    "Bob is a short guy to put in the game":tick:
    "Bob is a short guy for the basketball coach":tick:
    "Bob is a short guy for the basketball coach to put in the game.":tick:

    Do you agree with me on it?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    You seem to be focused on oddities, Jawel, so I'll assume the linguistic document gave you an example of one.

    It qualifies the meaning of "short". It would sound far more normal to say "Bob is too short to be a good basketball player." The weird sentence in question means "Bob is so short that the basketball coach shouldn't want him to be in the game."

    People sometimes stuff too much information into a phrase like a prepositional phrase. This can happen when people attempt to qualify an adjective as they are speaking spontaneously. Here's an example:

    He's a hard dog to keep under the porch = It is hard to make that dog stay under the porch. => That dog wanders around a lot and gets himself into trouble.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018

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