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Here is the context:

There is an argument to be made that the team play pretty well.

What confused me is the part to be made. Does it mean that it is reasonable to argue that the team play well, or that an argument is going to be made in the future that...?

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'There is an argument to be made' is a common expression in English and means 'it is possible to present evidence that would support the claim', e.g.:

It is possible to present evidence that would support the claim that the team play pretty well.'

Implicit in the statement is fact that you recognise the possibility that there may be other people who disagree with what you are claiming. If you believe that everyone would agree with your claim then you are more likely to say ,'It is indisputable that the team play pretty well'. Of course, the fact that you believe something is indisputable does not stop someone else from disputing it.

A similar expression, which means the same thing, is:

You could argue that the team play pretty well.

| improve this answer | |
  • Well put. I think one of the confusing things is that we have both the construction "There is an argument to be made" and the one "There is work to be done", but they don't mean the same thing. – stangdon Jul 13 '18 at 14:42

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