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I think I quite understand about “too+adj+to” like:

Anna is too young to drive. (She cannot drive)

But I saw a sentence:

A: My family’s not like yours. We seem to spend all day Saturday fighting about where we’ll go on Sunday.

B: What about your dad? Doesn’t he make the final decision?

A: Certainly not…he’s too busy trying to come up with an excuse why we shouldn’t go anywhere.

B: Oh, doesn’t he like getting out of the city?

I wonder why we can put “trying” after “busy” (adjective) since the structure must be “too+adjective+to”.

Or can we put something else after the adjective in this case?

And what does the sentence above mean exactly? Does it mean “he is too busy and likes or tries to come up with an excuse why we shouldn’t go anywhere” ?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You should read the sentence like this - [He is too busy] [trying to come up with ...]

This is a different construction than "too + adjective + to", and it has the literal meaning.

"He is too busy" = He is extremely busy.

Busy doing what? - trying to come up with an excuse.

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Yeah! this was good :) +1 However, there's another construction - too + adj + article + to as well! –  Maulik V Apr 22 at 5:03
    
Oh, I forgot a noun there: too + adj + article + noun + to as well! She's too beautiful a girl to ignore. –  Maulik V Apr 22 at 5:21
1  
@MaulikV In the latter case, I’d say it’s specifically the indefinite article (a or an); using the in that case would be very odd. –  KRyan Apr 22 at 12:29
    
Yess...true.. thanks for that. :) –  Maulik V Apr 22 at 12:32

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