“Adjective + to”

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Welcome to your “Adjective + To” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• Some expressions
“It’s nice of you”
“I’m sorry to” / “I was surprised to”
“The first to”, “The next to”
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Some expressions

Compare this pair of sentences:

“Mary doesn’t write very clearly, it is difficult to understand her writing.”

“Mary doesn’t write very clearly, her writing is difficult to understand.”

These two sentences have the same meaning, but note that we say:

“She is difficult to understand.”

(not “She is difficult to understand her.”)

You can use the same form with the following verbs:

cheap dangerous easy exciting
expensive good hard impossible
interesting nice safe

“Is it safe to drink this water?”
“Is this water safe for us to drink?”

“It’s impossible to answer these questions.”
“These questions are impossible to answer.”

“It’s expensive to be a smoker.”
Being a smoker is expensive.”

You can also use this form with adjective + noun:

“This is a difficult question for me to answer.”

(not “to answer it.”)

“It’s nice of you”

You can say “it’s nice of somebody to do something.”:

It was nice of you to help me yesterday.

You can use many other adjectives this way:

careless clever considerate kind mean
sensible silly stupid unfair

It’s silly of you to worry so much.

It’s unfair of him to criticise us.

“I’m sorry to” / “I was surprised to”

You can use “adjective + to …” to say how somebody reacts to something:

I’m sorry to hear that you’re sick.

You can also use many other adjectives like this:

amazed astonished disappointed glad happy
pleased relieved sad surprised

Were you pleased to see me?

I was disappointed to hear the news.

She was sad to find out what happened.

“The first to”, “The next to”

You can use “to …” after “the first/the last/the next/the only/the second”:

If I find out any more, you’ll be the first to know.

The next train to arrive at the station is the number twelve from Glasgow.

I was the only one to dress up on halloween.


You an say that something is “sure/certain/bound/likely” to happen:

She’s a good student, she’s bound to get a degree.

I’m likely to be late for dinner.

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