I can’t understand that how do we use of after adjectives ?

  • It was beautiful of you to...
  • It was kind of you to...
  • It was generous of you to...

As I know, it is possible to use of after “nouns”.

  • It was beauty of you to...
  • It was kindness of you to...
  • It was generosity of you to...

But how can that be possible in terms of adjectives?

  • 2
    The syntax of It is/was X of you to [do something] requires that X should be an adjective, not a noun. None of your second set of examples are valid. – FumbleFingers May 12 '18 at 16:12
  • 2
    You can use of after nouns, but not the way you're using them there. The correct way to use of with nouns is just something like "The beauty of the trees was breathtaking." – stangdon May 12 '18 at 21:08
  • Your beauty, your kindness and your generosity etc. And I am sure it is the same thing in your own language. Most languages have adjectives and nouns. – Lambie May 11 '20 at 15:10
  • There is nothing to understand: this happens to be the way we say it in English. Tᴚoɯɐuo's answer gives you a summary of the grammar, but it doesn't explain why we say it that way, because there is no such explanation. – Colin Fine Jun 20 at 16:52

of you refers to "you" (him, her, them, etc) as possessing a quality or attribute.

You have behaved in a way that is characterized by an adjective and that attribute is then attributed to you (her, him, etc).

It was generous of you to lend me your car so I could pick up my girlfriend at the airport.

The (possibly optional) complement specifies the action or behavior in the form of a non-finite clause:

It is kind of you to say so.

The non-finite clause supplies the idea-content for it exposed at the head of the sentence.

It (i.e. "to say so") was kind of you.

If the thing to which it refers is already established in context, the non-finite clause is not needed:

I didn't mention your prison record when introducing you to my parents.
-- I know. I was there. It was kind of you.
But we will have to let them know at some point.

With the noun, we would say on your part instead of of you.

It was a kindness on your part not to mention my juvenile prison record when introducing me to your parents.


The second set of examples are not correct. This is how they could be rewritten, while still keeping the noun.

  • ... was an act of kindness ...
  • You showed kindness when you ...
  • You showed generosity when you ...
  • Your beauty shone through when you ...

Let me know if you need a more precise answer.

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