Note: I'm not a native speaker of English, so apologies in advance if the answer to my question is obvious.

Taking the sentences "The soup in the pot is too hot" and "The soup is too hot in the pot". I think there is slight difference in the meaning between both variants (in the sense that more emphasis is being placed upon the fact that the soup is too hot in its current location, rather in general). Still, the first sentence feels "natural/right" to me, while the second reads somewhat odd, though I find myself unable to quote distinct grammar-rule it would violate.

Are both sentences valid and if so, am I correct in my hunch that the distinction is the emphasis? Still, is there any reason why the second variant reads odd (at least to me)?

  • 6
    The second variant sounds odd because of its semantics, not because of its grammar per se. When something is too hot, we do not usually specify a location where that is true. The first one sounds more natural because we do not specify where the temperature is excessive, but we specify which soup we are talking a bout.
    – oerkelens
    Apr 23, 2018 at 10:31
  • 2
    The soup is too hot in the pot. Let's put it into bowls is perfectly fine. Thus, once again showing that context, context, context...is important. Apr 23, 2018 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


Your first sentence is more grammatically correct than the second. However, whenever able, it is better to choose a word other than "too". A suggestion would be to replace "too" with something like 'overly'. I.E. The soup is in the pot is overly hot. As a 'bonus' point, a rule of grammar is to never end a sentence with a preposition. I.E. The soup in this pot is overly hot too. Instead, a better way would be: The soup in this pot is overly hot as well. :)


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