Community Web Version Now Available
Hailey
"It's imposible for them to master English" Hi All I learnt you say "It's impossible for them to master English" or "It's impossible that they should master English." Here're a couple of questions. 1) In the second sentence, why do you use "should" there? If it's removed, doesn't the newly made-up sentence make any sense? 2) I know you never say something like "They are impossible to master English", but I wonder what this sounds like... You say "He is hard to please", why not "They are impossible to master English"? Thanks!
Mar 19, 2010 7:53 AM
2
1
Answers · 2
Hi Hailey, The "it" in the sentences is about mastering English. So to re-word the sentences: "To master English is impossible for them," and "That they should master English is impossible". In the second sentence, 'should' has a less-common meaning of 'be able to' (just like could). I think that's more of a British style, so it's clearer to use 'could' or 'would'. The second sentence can also imply that they shouldn't be able (allowed) to master English. Domasla's given a perfect answer for your second sentence. Calling them "impossible" creates a completely different meaning.
March 19, 2010
1) You can't remove it. But you can replace it: It's impossible that they would master English. You express your expectation. Of a future event. (Well, no event, because they will not master English...) 2) "They are impossible..." means they are unbearable (as a person). You would not accept those people and what they are doing. Their attitude. "It's impossible for them to master English" and "It's impossible that they should (/would) master English." are correct.
March 19, 2010
Hailey
Language Skills
English, Japanese, Korean
Learning Language
English, Japanese