What is the difference between "It's fine with me" and "it's fine to me"?

I have read the sentence, "It looks fine to me".

but, American said that "it's fine to me" is wrong.

Why does it wrong ?

  • It looks like fine to me is absolutely incorrect. Where did you read this sentence? It's fine with me is perfectly correct English, and a common expression. It's fine to me is also perfectly good English. The American who told you that It's fine to me is "wrong" simply does not understand her own language! – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 18 '16 at 2:53
  • i miswrite "it look fine to me " as "it look like fine to me". i correct it in the question. – user175012 Aug 18 '16 at 3:07
  • do you think it's fine to me is also perfectly good english? i have searching for that. but, they have said that "it's fine to me" is wrong. American that south korea have entered said that "it's fine to me" is wrong. ===>gfncity.tistory.com/112 – user175012 Aug 18 '16 at 3:12
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    All three of the choices on that website are perfectly good English. See the answer below. "It's fine to me" is certainly not "wrong." It's not a common expression, but it is not incorrect English. The author is trying to say that "It's fine to me" is not a common expression, and that using it instead of "It's fine with me" will make the speaker sound as if he is not a native English speaker. The author may not be a native English speaker either! If an American said "It's fine to me" is incorrect English, he doesn't know his own language! – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 18 '16 at 3:29
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    They both mean only: "I believe that learning the piano is a good idea." They both mean exactly the same thing. They tell us nothing about how well I am learning to play, nor that I haven't learned to play the piano, nor that I want to learn. They both mean only and exactly "I believe that learning the piano is a good idea." "Fine to me" is just a slightly different and uncommon way of saying "fine with me." The important word here is the adjective "fine," not the preposition that follows it! – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 18 '16 at 6:54

X is fine with me means you are OK with something happening.

X looks {or other verb} fine to me means you approve of the way something looks or is. But you can't use this to approve of an event or something happening.

The project is fine with me = I'm OK with the project existing or moving forward.

The project looks fine to me = The current state or progress of the project is OK. I'm already OK with the project existing (or maybe I'm not and I hate working on this project).

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  • for example, do you mean that "learnig the piano is fine with me" = "I have been learing the piano very well"(already i have learned the piano) and "learing the piano is fine to me" = " I have approved that i want to learn the piano(yet i have not learned the piano, but, i want to learn the piano)" ? – user175012 Aug 18 '16 at 3:46

I'm guessing it was wrong in the context you were speaking it.

Going back to the example in your comment, suppose I was telling my daughter about her starting piano lessons in the near future.

"Rachel, we're thinking about having you start piano lessons next fall."

Rachel answers:

That's fine with me.

This means Rachel has no objections to starting piano lessons in the fall.

Rachel should not answer, "That's fine to me," because, idiomatically, to is not the preposition to use in this context. However, Rachel could say:

That sounds fine to me.

We frequently find the phrase fine to me after verbs like sounds or looks.

That all said, prepositions are very flexible words and acceptable usages often shift over time. One example I can think of is the phrase "on accident," which is occasionally used in place of the more conventional "by accident." You can see the merits of this being debated and discussed on line on straightdope, in The Grammar Log, and at our sister site ELU. (This language program claims that the chasm is generational.)

Therefore, the lines between "incorrect" and "unconventional" can be blurry sometimes. Personally, I think your friend was probably telling you a more conventional way to convey a thought – but the less idiomatic way isn't necessarily always an incorrect way.

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