"It's typical of men to annex a global trend and turn it into a male device to reject women to make themselves feel clever and us feel stupid."
(Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary)

It seems like in ‘men to annex’ men takes the role of subject and ‘to annex’ predicate. What I want to know is whether these complements of below are all possible.

  • It’s typical of men annexing ~
  • it’s typical of that men annex ~

1 Answer 1


There are really two different uses of typical here:

"Men annexing a global trend is typical" ... ascribes typical occurrence to the event - "Ya see it all the time."

"Annexing a global trend is typical of men" ... ascribes a typical action to men - "That's typical male behavior."

Each licenses distinct forms:

It is typical of men

  • that they annex a global trend
  • to annex a global trend

It is typical

  • that men annex a global trend
  • for men to annex a global trend

But the gerund forms at the top can only appear in subject position.

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