This post is derived from another one (the meaning of "slip a tip").

Consider these sentences

I'd like to picture myself as a wealthy patron casually slipping the doorman a substantial tip ...

I'd like to picture myself as a wealthy patron casually handing the doorman a substantial tip

The latter is easier to understand for English learners. I can also say The latter is more easily understood for English learners.

So, are "easily understood" and "easy to understand" interchangeable?


I think the answer is yes. The differences are in the tense. Let's say T represents some time in the future.

Easy to understand: It will be easy to understand once it is read (at time T)
Easily understood: Once it is read (at time T), it will have been understood (just after T, making T in the past).

Subtle, but essentially the same.

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  • Thank you. What does "at some future time T" mean? I guess T + 1 mean the day after a specific day. – WXJ96163 Mar 19 at 4:55
  • Edited my answer to make it clearer (I hope!). The programmer in me likes to assign variables to things ;) – nivlac Mar 19 at 5:30
  • Thanks for your explanation. Would you please make up a context. For instance, Michael teaches Alice C++, Alice think that is not easy to understand, then Michael teaches Alice Python, Alice think that is easy to understand. – WXJ96163 Mar 19 at 6:31
  • I think when you're telling a story, you'd normally use "easy to understand", unless you're in character dialogue. – nivlac Mar 23 at 23:09

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