The boy is good at speaking French / At speaking French, the boy is good.

Chigch

Senior Member
Mongolian
1. The boy is (very) good at speaking French.
2. The boy is (not) talented at music.
3. You are blind to your own defects.
4. He is less strong in debating.

I guess these sentences are grammatical.
But I am confused with the following ones.

5. At speaking French, the boy is (very) good.
6. At music, the boy is (not) talented.
7. To your own defects, you are blind.
8. In debating, he is less strong.

Is there anyone who can tell me whether 5~8 are grammatical ?
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The sentences with the prepositional phrase in the front, are grammatical in my opinion.
    However, the position is unusual, and a little awkward because the phrase is separated from the word it modifies.

    The only sentence in which it seems to me to work, is 7: To your own defects, you are blind.
    'To your own defects' is made emphatic by its position, which could be very suitable in certain contexts. For instance, if you were making a speech urging people to stop criticizing other people and instead to acknowledge and overcome their own faults.
     

    Chigch

    Senior Member
    Mongolian
    Thank you, Cagey.

    What if we replace the prepositions with something like 'speaking of/when it comes to/as far as ... is/are concerned', for ex:

    9. When it comes to (speaking) French, the boy is (very) good.
    10. Speaking of music, the boy is (not) talented.
    11. As far as debating, he is less strong.
     
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