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What does the following sentence mean? "However, sometimes the messaging we receive to be giving of ourselves, to push ourselves to the limit, be productive, and forgo our needs can be taken to an extreme in our everyday lives." What does "to be giving" mean there?

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  • I think your sentence is not compete. There must be a verb in your sentence. – Sina Sep 1 '17 at 16:25
  • Here is the full sentence, and I still dont understand the meaning. "However, sometimes the messaging we receive to be giving of ourselves, to push ourselves to the limit, be productive, and forgo our needs can be taken to an extreme in our everyday lives." – Dmytro O'Hope Sep 1 '17 at 16:48
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The business-hip word messaging is pretty much a collective form of message, and it takes the same sort of marked infinitival complement:

We received a message to meet them at 2 o'clock ... that is, the content of the message was that we should meet them at 2 o'clock.

He sent me a message to bring him the report today ... that is, the content of his message was that I should bring him the report today.

The infinitivals in your sentence work the same way. Paraphrased:

However, the messages we receive—exhortations that

  • we should be giving of ourselves ... that is, we should dedicate ourselves to the benefit of others
  • we should push ourselves to the limit ... that is, we should make strenuous efforts to achieve more than we believe we are capable of
  • we should be productive ... that is, we should strive to produce real, practical, valuable results and not be content with merely expending effort
  • and we should forgo our needs ... that is, we should not attend to our own immediate needs.

—these messages can be taken to an extreme in our everyday lives .. . that is, we can take these messages too seriously and spend too much time and effort trying to follow them.

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  • Thank you I have understood the meaning, but i am stil confused by the grammar. Here is the part: "the messaging we receive to be giving of ourself". What is the grammar? Should it not be the messaging we receive to give of ourself? – Dmytro O'Hope Sep 2 '17 at 5:43
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    @DmytroO'Hope The participle giving is often used as an adjective in recent speech; for example "She is a very giving person". The construction here uses giving in that adjectival sense, and the PP with of designates what is given: "She is very giving of herself to other people". – StoneyB on hiatus Sep 2 '17 at 11:06

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