good idea of what you are looking for to be surprised when....

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diegoclegane

Senior Member
Mandarin-China
Hi,

I came across this sentence from my reading material:

You want to have a good enough idea of what you are looking for to be surprised when you find something else of value, and you want to be ignorant enough of your end point that you can entertain alternative outcomes.

I feel difficult to understand this sentence. I think it is grammatically wrong, it should be 'You want to have a good enough idea of what you are looking for and to be surprised when...'
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You want to have a good enough idea {of [what you are looking for]} in order to be surprised when you find something else of value,

    a good enough idea of
    (idiom) = a fairly clear mental image of

    what you are looking for is a noun clause = the thing that you are looking for
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's correct as it is, but I can see why it might seem wrong, because it uses the same basic construction in two different ways:

    …… have a good enough idea …… to be surprised when you find something else of value,
    …… be ignorant enough …… that you can entertain alternative outcomes.
     

    diegoclegane

    Senior Member
    Mandarin-China
    You want to have a good enough idea {of [what you are looking for]} in order to be surprised when you find something else of value,
    So there is a problem in the original sentence, right? Can I use 'and' instead of 'in order'?
     

    diegoclegane

    Senior Member
    Mandarin-China
    It's correct as it is, but I can see why it might seem wrong, because it uses the same basic construction in two different ways:

    …… have a good enough idea …… to be surprised when you find something else of value,
    …… be ignorant enough …… that you can entertain alternative outcomes.
    I see, is that it omit a word 'that'? You want to have a good enough idea of what you are looking for (that) to be surprised when you find something else of value
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    So there is a problem in the original sentence, right?
    Wrong, there is no problem.
    As has been said: the original sentence is correct. I was helping you understand the meaning of the sentence, and how you should parse it...
     

    diegoclegane

    Senior Member
    Mandarin-China
    This construction is so strange to me that I thought it wrong, and I have to reread it several times to get its meaning. Would you please give some other simple examples using this construction?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Would you please give some other simple examples using this construction?
    I have good enough eyesight to read road signs that are quite far away from me.
    He is tall enough to touch the ceiling if he jumps up.


    My eyesight is sufficiently good (= good enough) that I can read road signs that are quite far away from me.
    He is sufficiently tall (= tall enough) that he can touch the ceiling if he jumps up.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I want to have a good dream tonight to be vigorous tomorrow morning. (Does this sound natural?)
    That does sound fairly natural (although it would make more sense if you said sleep instead of dream). But it's not quite the same, because you've switched to a future scenario. This version is closer to my examples:

    I slept well enough last night to feel refreshed this morning.
     
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