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1: I was stupid to followed her advice
2: I was stupid that I followed her advice
3: I was stupid to have followed her advice
4: I was stupid that I had followed her advice

Do these 4 sentences mean the same?

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  • 1
    You haven't given the shortest acceptable version: I was stupid to follow her advice. But although it's more words, I much prefer It was stupid of me to follow her advice. See this usage chart. Nov 10 '20 at 15:54
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica ok are the examples with the that-clause correct grammatically and semantically? An also all of them 4 sentences mean the same? Nov 10 '20 at 16:17
  • (1) is ungrammatical (as FF says, it should be to follow). (2) and (4) are not very idiomatic. Nov 10 '20 at 17:23
  • I can just about go along with It was stupid that I followed her advice, but I don't like it much. And I can't accept any versions that start with the personal pronoun I and also include the relativiser that. Choosing between OP's 4 alternatives, none of which are really idiomatic, looks like an Off Topic "primarily opinion-based" question to me. Nov 10 '20 at 18:27
  • 1
    Give 2 and 4 some tweaks and they can work: I was so stupid that I followed her advice. I was stupid in that I followed her advice.
    – Eddie Kal
    Nov 10 '20 at 19:00
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With an animate (or rational) subject, stupid takes a "to" infinitive clause:

I was stupid to follow/to have followed her advice

With an impersonal subject ("it"), stupid can take either a "to" infinitive clause, or a "that" clause:

  1. It was stupid to follow her advice
  1. It was stupid that I followed her advice.

If you want to specify the subject, you can use for with a "to" infinitive:

  1. It was stupid for me to follow her advice.

but you can also specify the person who was stupid with "of" in either case:

  1. It was stupid of me to follow her advice.
  1. It was stupid of me that I followed her advice.

(My 3 and 4 have nearly the same meaning, but different structures: in 3, for me to follow her advice is the complement clause, with me as its subject; in 4, the complement is to follow her advice without a subject, and of me is an adjunct of "stupid".)

The facts that I have given about what the word takes in the different uses are arbitrary facts that happen to be how the word behaves in current English: there is no rule or logic that will tell you them.

On the question of past infinitive/past perfect: these are used when the speaker wishes to locate something in time relative to some later viewpoint. They are nearly always optional, and are often not used when the temporal relationships are clear without them. In your 3 and 4, the speaker is choosing to focus the time at some point later than their following the advice: it is presumably clear to their hearers when this time was that they are "looking back" from. If they use your 1 and 2, they are not placing a viewpoint at any particular time.

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