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I am still confused in using the pattern adjective + to infinitive.

The 2 sentences below are given for examples.

  • I am lazy to study.
  • It is lazy for me to study.

Could you elaborate how to use the pattern ?

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As @Barrie's answer indicates, neither sentence is valid. So I think asking which is correct is just "too localised" –  FumbleFingers Dec 18 '11 at 16:35
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But the presenting question is valid -- there are several different kinds of "Adjective + to + Infinitive", and they're complex. –  John Lawler Dec 18 '11 at 18:19
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For example, "he was crazy to think he could get away with it" is correct. –  Peter Shor Dec 18 '11 at 18:57
    
Exactly the kind of thing I meant. –  John Lawler Dec 18 '11 at 19:09
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You need to provide better examples. The question is clearer without them right now. –  Kris Dec 19 '11 at 8:19
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closed as too localized by FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno, simchona, Peter Shor , Mitch Dec 21 '11 at 18:46

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I suspect you may have confused two types of lazy constructions.

As a predicate adjective with a human subject, lazy does not take an object complement, infinitive or other. So neither of the sentences you give is a "pattern" (or Construction, as it's technically called). The following sentences -- examples of the four different types of English complement clause -- are therefore all ungrammatical, as indicated by the asterisk.

  • *He is lazy to do that. (Infinitive complement - untensed)
  • *He is lazy doing that. (Gerund complement - untensed)
  • *He is lazy that he does that. (That complement - tensed)
  • *He is lazy what he does. (Embedded question complement - tensed)

However, as a predicate adjective with a subject denoting a volitional action, instead of a human actor, lazy (or just lazy -- just seems a likely addition) may take either untensed type of subject complement, though tensed complements seem ungrammatical with it.

  • (For him) to do that would be just lazy (of him).
  • (His) doing that is just lazy (of him).
  • *That he does that is just lazy (of him).
  • *What he does is just lazy (of him).

And with an infinitive subject complement, Extraposition is usually applied:

  • It would be lazy (of him) (for him) to do that.

though Extraposition of gerund subject complements is not:

  • *It is lazy (of him) doing that.

By the way, there are plenty of adjectives that work differently from lazy. So this is not about any general pattern "Adjective + to + Infinitive". Rather, this is about the predicate adjective lazy and its usage. Which predicate adjective you use determines what kinds of constructions you can use with it; and every adjective is different. Welcome to English syntax.

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A native speaker would say neither. The only possibility is I am too lazy to study.

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Neither of those questions make much sense; the first is poorly constructed and makes little sense, while the second actually means something, which is that if I study, I am lazy. However, that is illogical and not very sensible. So, there is a difference between the two; the first means almost nothing (the only interpretation would be that since I am lazy, I do not study), and the second means that studying is lazy.

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