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He's too _____ person to say no to your offer

Options

A. nice
B. nice a
C. a nice
D. so nice

I could understand neither the options nor the question.

Could someone please explain what the sentence say and why b. option is correct? And should there be a comma in between nice and a?

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  • 1
    Welcome to ELU. See also English Language Learners. Good Luck.
    – Kris
    May 29, 2019 at 7:58
  • The sentence means that he will not say no because he is such a nice person. (B) is correct because that is how this idea is expressed in English.
    – Kate Bunting
    May 29, 2019 at 8:08
  • Is there comma in between nice and a
    – Sarath
    May 29, 2019 at 8:11
  • No, you can imagine theres an "of", like "hes too nice of a person". The meaning is the same, you can just omit the "of" May 29, 2019 at 8:20
  • @max: you should be aware that "too nice of a person" is actually ungrammatical in many places. "Too nice a person" is acceptable anywhere.
    – TimLymington
    May 29, 2019 at 8:49

1 Answer 1

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(b) is the way to go here because this is a sentence with the not-so-common construction of

adjective + article + noun - instead of the usual construction where the article is always the first modifier in a Noun Phrase, as in: She is a really beautiful girl.

The general rule is- when that noun is "given more gravitas or weight" in the sentence, that structure is then used (usually intensified by intensifier words such as too, or only, but also with a whole sentence structuring to back that up such as comparisons).

Consider these sentences for further examples:

  • It is not as easy a thing as you might think.
  • She spoke with ever so slight an accent.
  • Few people realize how small an amount of capital is needed.
  • She was no better a student than the rest of her class.

You may also find this case, though it is colloquial speech, so it shouldn't come off as something weird like the aforementioned sentences and examples.

  1. He is such a man.
  2. I've been there many a night.(literary,but still common)
  3. She was half an hour late
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  • What about "she was no better student than ..."? Does it have any meaning difference from the sentence with "a" May 29, 2019 at 16:51

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