格格Sybil
Why using 'of' instead of other prepositions in the sentence'It was crude of him to say that'?
May 23, 2016 4:19 PM
Answers · 4
The preposition 'of' connects one piece of something to the larger whole. Crude is one word that can be used to describe the man's personality. He could also be kind or clever. If the man said, "The flowers in your garden are more beautiful in the sunlight." You could say that it was kind of the man to say that. Part of his personality can be described as kind. If the man said, "I always remember the difference between flora and fauna because flora looks like the word flower and fauna sounds like the word fawn." You could say that it was clever of him to say that. Part of his personality can be described as clever. 'for' does not connect a piece to a whole. It was dangerous for him to say that. Dangerous does not describe a personality trait, rather is expresses an outcome or a consequence of what he said.
May 23, 2016
I can only think of one other preposition that might make sense in the sentence you have provided and that preposition is the word, "for." Both "of" and "for" are commonly used in sentences like the one you have provided. But, if you would like a reason why "of" was used rather than "for," it is normally due to the author or speaker's decision. Since there is no rule as to which is correct, the author may use whichever he or she likes. However, if you want to be more precise with your use of "for" or "of," there is a slight difference in interpreted meaning. "It was crude [for] him to say that," gives the impression that the thing he did or what he said was crude, but that he is not necessarily crude but only acted improperly in that instance. "It was crude [of] him to say that," makes it sound as though you are crediting the person's crude words to their character because "of him" gives the impression that you are associating the person's actions with who they are as a person. Native speakers are not likely to think this specifically about the differences and are most likely to use both words interchangeably. But, I thought I should mention that there is perhaps a small difference since that is what you asked. (Also, sorry for the long answer.)
May 23, 2016
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