It is foolish ……… a picnic on a rainy day.

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sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
It is foolish ……… a picnic on a rainy day.
a)to have (Answer Key)
b)having

school exam

Hello,
Once one told me that both of the options are correct and I got surprised how both can work here.
Would you please be kind enough to give me some guidance on this?

Thank you.
 
  • sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    But once a native English speaker told me that both are correct.
    That's why I decide to ask it here to make sure about it.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It is foolish having a picnic on a rainy day sounds awkward to me. At best I would make a pause: It is foolish - having a picnic on a rainy day.

    I could only say:

    It is foolish to have a picnic on a rainy day -
    or
    Having a picnic on a rainy day is foolish.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Everybody, thank you for answering.

    The difference is really subtle.
    Some native English speakers have doubts on it (having) in post #1.
    And some other regard it to be correct in the sentence example in post #1.

    I searched for [it's foolish + gerund] but I even couldn't find one example.
    But I found hundreds of examples for [it's foolish + to-infinitive]

    http://fraze.it/n_search.jsp?hardm=1&t=0&l=0&p=1&q=it's+foolish
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "I feel adjective + verb-ing" is fine. Also with a noun - "I feel a fool telling you this."

    It is foolish to... it is a good idea to... it is impossible to... you need the infinitive with this pattern.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    X) It is foolish having a picnic on a rainy day.
    Y) It is foolish to have picnic on a rainy day.

    Mere fools would argue that either is wrong. Oops. :D

    I find both X) and Y) perfectly acceptable.

    I might say: Only fools would picnic on a rainy day.

     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The test question used the full form "It is...", which to my mind is a hint that they want a sentence suitable for formal written English. If they wanted something more colloquial they would probably have used "It's stupid ----- "
    e.g. "It's stupid having a picnic in the rain like this."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with veli's last point: to make "having" work you'd need to change the "is" to apostrophe-s and to replace the rather formal word "foolish" with something more suited to informal everyday conversation.
     
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