easy/eager to look after.

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alaethea

Senior Member
India-Tamil & English
Hi,

The twins are easy to look after.

The twins are eager to look after (something).


In the first case, "The twins" is the object of the verb "look after"
In the second case, "The twins" is the subject of the verb "look after"

Can anyone tell me why it so happens that the adjectives "easy" and
"eager" completely change the sense of the subject they are complementing??
 
  • Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I don't understand the point of the question, alaethea. Two different words have two entirely different meanings. It is in the nature of adjectives to modify the nouns they describe. It does not strike me as odd that different adjectives might modify the same noun in different ways.

    It is quite possible that I have entirely missed your point. What are you getting at? :)
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Hi,

    The twins are easy to look after.

    The twins are eager to look after (something).


    In the first case, "The twins" is the object of the verb "look after"
    In the second case, "The twins" is the subject of the verb "look after"

    Can anyone tell me why it so happens that the adjectives "easy" and
    "eager" completely change the sense of the subject they are complementing??
    I don't think they do - any adjective can replace easy or eager in either sentence, it's just the meaning that would prevent it.

    The twins are annoying to look after.
    *The twins are annoying to look after something

    *The twins are happy to look after.
    The twins are happy to look after something.

    The sentences with * aren't possible not for grammatical reasons but because the adjective you use would make no sense.
     

    alaethea

    Senior Member
    India-Tamil & English
    What I'm getting at is this:

    The first can be rephrased as:

    To look after the twins is easy.

    The second can't be rephrased like that, can it?
     
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