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You're too clever a man to imagine this.

The above sentence was said by George Galloway, a man of excellent rhetorical skills.

Since he said it, I doubt it's wrong, grammatically. But, I wonder if there is an explanation for this. Because adjectives always come after the article not before it. e.g. You're a clever man.

How could this be, grammatically?

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"... adjectives always come after the article not before it" -- you will learn that there are exceptions to this rule. Therefore, the sentence is grammatical. –  Kris Nov 23 '12 at 14:20
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You could also write that as: "You're too clever of a man." I imagine, in speaking those words, the "of" dropped off, leaving you with the above quotation. If you consider it that way, you could probably come up with numerous examples of parallel constructions. "It's not that type of a place." "We don't have that fun of a relationship." –  tylerharms Nov 23 '12 at 14:32
    
Thank you gentlemen. –  Bright Polyglot Nov 23 '12 at 14:37
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@tylerharms. Do you have any authentic citations to support your claims about You're too clever of a man and We don't have that fun of a relationship? As a native speaker of English, I would never say either, and I have never seen or heard them. –  Barrie England Nov 23 '12 at 16:25
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@FumbleFingers. Too nice of a man seems very odd to me, and it must be rare. There are no records for it in the COCA, the BNC, the OED, or nGrams. –  Barrie England Nov 23 '12 at 18:49
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It is surely grammatical. I'm still trying to find some definitive reference on the web. Meanwhile, you may want to read this thread.

This page is helpful, but again I don't think it's definitive.

To me, sentences like He is a too/so big man are never correct. We need to restructure the sentence as He is too/so big a man. Alternatively, you can safely say He is such a big man.

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Thank you. That helped very much. He is too kind a guy to refuse. How established a technical writer is he? –  Bright Polyglot Nov 23 '12 at 20:23
    
"Lull is not just an English word, but also a so poetic one." Yesterday, I wrote an essay in which I included the above sentence. I think, according to your answer, the sentence is wrong, and I should have used "very" instead of "so", right? –  Bright Polyglot Nov 23 '12 at 20:38
    
@BrightPolyglot "very" is fine while "such a poetic one" will do too. –  Terry Li Nov 24 '12 at 2:54
    
That means "also a so poetic one" is wrong? –  Bright Polyglot Nov 24 '12 at 11:20
    
@BrightPolyglot Yes I think so. –  Terry Li Nov 24 '12 at 11:42
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