Is it o.k. to conjugate the verb "blame" in this way?:

I am to blame.

You are to blame.

He/She/It is to blame...and so on.

In order to tell someone themselves blames something on.

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    I think it's possible, but I can't think of any reason to do so. Why not, just say "I blame..". And maybe this could help. – user178049 Apr 16 '17 at 15:31
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    This answer might help - ell.stackexchange.com/a/46339/3463 – Man_From_India Apr 16 '17 at 15:35
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    Yes: that's fine. "Be" and a handful of other verbs take hollow to-infinitivals as complement, so we get "You are to blame __". The missing element is the object of the verb "blame" and is represented by gap, the meaning of which is recoverable from an antecedent. In this case, the antecedent is "you": We understand that "You are to blame you (yourself)". – BillJ Apr 16 '17 at 16:51

Yes, it is acceptable to use the word blame in the way you described.

Saying a phrase like "I am to blame" or the other examples you provided means that the object of the phrase should or could be blamed by anyone.

For example, if you said:

I blame myself.

This means that only the speaker is the one blaming themselves. Likewise in this example:

Jim blames Susan.

Here Jim is the only person blaming Susan. On the other hand:

I am to blame.

Susan is to blame.

This means that I or Susan can be reasonably blamed by anyone. It would be comparable to:

I am the person to blame.


I am the one for people to blame.

| improve this answer | |
  • I'm not sure why you included the person in your penultimate example - whether present or not the implication is the speaker is telling his audience that they should blame him. Pragmatically, we might well assume the speaker also blames himself, but this might not be the case, and it's completely unaffected by including the person. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 16 '17 at 17:19
  • @FumbleFingers I guess I thought that would be illustrative, perhaps those weren't the best examples. – RaceYouAnytime Apr 16 '17 at 17:32

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