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Okay, so my students in Japan keep using

“it is happy for me to…” “…it is glad for me to…”

I know it is incorrect and the words happy and glad can be changed with others to make some sentences work, i.e. “it is interesting for me to…” I know glad and happy are emotions and state of being that need human or animal subjects, i.e. “I am happy for you”.

Also I know that ‘happy feelings’, ‘happy memories’, ‘happy birthday’ are all a different form of the adjective usage. I need help with, what is exactly the issue with “it is happy for me to…”? I can't think of anything other than it is not right, and I feel weird about it. So please help!

Edit: Native speaker, MA in Linguistics, living in Japan long enough to forget English. Posted here only after the other native speakers failed to answer as well.

  • Hi Lucy, are you a Japanese expert in English or a native English speaker? Knowing which one you are might affect the way in which people respond. – BoldBen Nov 6 '17 at 7:36
  • "It makes me happy to see children playing" or "It makes me glad to . . . " are idiomatic and say what your students are trying to say. – Xanne Nov 6 '17 at 8:18
  • Probably the most common phrasing of the idea "it is [expression of positive emotion] for me to..." in U.S. (and perhaps also British) English would be "it is a pleasure for me to..." – Sven Yargs Nov 7 '17 at 19:57
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It is interesting for me to ... .

is equivalent to

I find it interesting to ... .

Similar equivalences are found with adjectives such as useful /helpful / difficult / annoying / relaxing.

These adjectives describe the characteristics of some object or action. For example: a warm bath is relaxing.

  • It is relaxing for me to have a warm bath when I get home from work.
  • I find it relaxing to have a warm bath when I get home from work.

This doesn't work for adjectives that describe emotional states: ?a warm bath is happy.

  • ?It is happy for me to have a warm bath when I get home from work.
  • ?I find it happy to have a warm bath when I get home from work.

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