too kind

azz

Senior Member
armenian
Can one say:

a. You are too kind to help me.
(I consider you to be too kind because you help me)


b. You were too nice to say those wonderful things about me.
(It was extremely nice of you to say those wonderful things about me.)
 
  • rubes1

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Can one say:

    a. You are too kind to help me.
    (I consider you to be too kind because you help me)

    Yes, you could. We often say "you are far too kind."

    b. You were too nice to say those wonderful things about me.
    (It was extremely nice of you to say those wonderful things about me.)

    This one somehow doesn't ring as well, but I suppose you could say that.
     

    badgrammar

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think one would tend to use "so" in those sentences (you are soo kind to help me, so nice to say those things)...

    The expression "too kind" is generally used as part of the idiom "you're too kind". I really don't think you hear it used much in other ways, except literally, as in "If you are too kind/too nice, people will take advantage of you".
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Can one say:

    a. You are too kind to help me.
    (I consider you to be too kind because you help me)


    b. You were too nice to say those wonderful things about me.
    (It was extremely nice of you to say those wonderful things about me.)

    This may be another AE/BE thing... When I hear the term "too kind" used in any context, I automatically think the speaker is from England because it is seldom heard in Canada. And, frankly, the logic of the phrase has always escaped me - how can one be "too kind" or "too nice"? To me, it implies that I am not worthy of your kindness.

    I would say "You are very kind to help me" or "You were very nice to say...".
     

    badgrammar

    Senior Member
    American English
    It does have a British ring to it, but yu hear it in AE. Most often "You're too kind" is said in a sarcastic tone -

    Here, take the rest of my half-eaten sandwich, Cheryl.
    Oh thanks Doug, you're too kind (roll eyes)
     

    equivoque

    Senior Member
    Australia - English
    This may be another AE/BE thing... When I hear the term "too kind" used in any context, I automatically think the speaker is from England because it is seldom heard in Canada. And, frankly, the logic of the phrase has always escaped me - how can one be "too kind" or "too nice"? To me, it implies that I am not worthy of your kindness.

    I would say "You are very kind to help me" or "You were very nice to say...".

    I think "too kind" means someone has gone out of their way - beyond normal expectations. eg: your car has broken down (before mobile phones) and you knock on a stranger's door to use the phone. The person then shows extra sympathy and offers you a cold drink or refreshment while you wait for help.

    Letting you use the phone is kind. The additional hospitality is too kind.

    Sure, it's of a bit dated expression, but it's still nice.
     

    Kenneth Garland

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I agree with badgrammar. "You're too kind" is really an expression on its own.

    Possible alternatives for azz:

    "It's very kind of you to help me" Possible "most kind", too?

    "It was very nice of you to say those wondergful things about me."

    I once rented a room from a Dutch lady (who spoke fluent idiomatic English) who got very cross with me for saying "That's very kind of you" when she'd done me a small favour! I think she felt she had done the favour because she wanted to, not because she was kind, which is a rather over-literal interpretation of what is really a polite formula.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    My mother-in-law was a French speaker, and frequently used this construction too. It sounds odd to me because You are too xxx to do yyy usually means you will not/should not do yyy because you are so xxx.

    It would make more sense, to me, to say
    You are too kind to kick your brother like that! which means you are a nice child, and nice children do not behave that way.

    When you mean it as a compliment, then

    It was very kind of you to...
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I think "too kind" means someone has gone out of their way - beyond normal expectations. eg: your car has broken down (before mobile phones) and you knock on a stranger's door to use the phone. The person then shows extra sympathy and offers you a cold drink or refreshment while you wait for help.

    Letting you use the phone is kind. The additional hospitality is too kind.

    Sure, it's of a bit dated expression, but it's still nice.

    I understand the way the phrase is used, I just don't understand why it's used. To use your example, it's like the stranger won't let you use the phone... odds are, you wouldn't say "That's too unkind of you". Just one of those phrases that never made sense to me...
     
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