I do know an adjective (without a noun) in this construction can be followed by a to-infinitive, as in:

  1. It is not acceptable to kill a goat in that way.

  2. It is not good to kill him here.

But, is it also grammatical to insert a noun after the adjective without changing anything else in the construction? As in:

  1. It is not a good job to kill a goat that way.

  2. It's not a wise decision to kill him here.

What I am asking about is the construction in which the to-infinitive modifies the adjective+noun, not the one in which the to-infinitive describes the perception of the doer, like:

It is not an easy question (for me) to deal with.

  • 2
    All your examples are extraposition constructions, where the infinitival clauses do not modify the adjectives or nouns, but are extraposed subjects outside the verb phrase.
    – BillJ
    Sep 21, 2019 at 6:42
  • Is it okay to put no comma before these extraposed subjects? Sep 21, 2019 at 7:21
  • 1
    Yes: No comma is required. Your examples are acceptable.
    – BillJ
    Sep 21, 2019 at 7:24
  • 1
    Hello, Fadli. It can often be difficult to isolate syntax from semantics in trickier constructions, but it's usually vital. Here, as BillJ explains clearly, your relevant examples are all sentences where the to-infinitival clause is the 'subject' and not a 'modifier' in the sentence (I've highlighted both the well-known term and the one whose meaning is usually not fully grasped by many; both are precisely (if not always consensually) defined terms in grammar). The extraposed version is more commonly used than the non-extraposed one, perhaps surprisingly (but English doesn't like ... Sep 21, 2019 at 11:09
  • 1
    long subjects). // Your discounted example (I've tinkered with it to make a more natural-sounding but equivalent sentence) is structurally different. Here, the to-infinitival clause (together with the adjective) arguably mirrors a relative clause: It was not a question that was easy to deal with / It was not an easy-to-deal-with question (don't use that version – it's just to illustrate the point), and it could be said to modify the adjective. Sep 21, 2019 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


It is not good / a wise decision [to kill him here].

Your example is acceptable, but the infinitival clause does not modify "good" or "wise decision". This is a subject extraposition construction where the subordinate clause is an extraposed subject, outside the verb phrase.

The non-extraposed equivalent would be:

[To kill him here] is not good / a wise decision.

Here, the infinitival clause is not a modifier, but subject of the sentence.

The same applies to your other examples.

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