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  • This robot is designed to play with. (The robot is designed for being played, so I can play with the robot.)
  • This water is too hot to drink. (The water is too hot, so I cannot drink the water.)

“Play with” and “drink” are transitive verbs. Can subjects be used as objects in this case?

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  • Your question concerns two completely different subjects. Please edit your question to remove one subject, and create a separate question for it. Please also add more explanation for each question- I don't understand what you want to know, or why.
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 15, 2021 at 11:11
  • Yes. In your second example, "This water is too hot to drink __ ]", the gap __ is object of "drink" and is anaphoric to the subject, "this water". Your first example won't work; you need "to be played with __ ", where the gap __ is object of the prep "with" and is anaphoric to the subject, "this robot".
    – BillJ
    Aug 15, 2021 at 11:15
  • Offhand, I'm not sure why the two examples are different. But so far as I'm concerned, #1 is invalid - it should be the passive construction This robot is designed to be played with. But #2 is perfectly natural. Even though This water is too hot to be drunk might seem more "consistent / logical" (and it's certainly valid), that passivized version sounds decidedly weird. Aug 15, 2021 at 11:16
  • ...but I note that This robot is too dangerous to play with sounds okay to me (and ...too dangerous to be played with sounds "stilted"). But This water is intended to drink is completely unacceptable (must be ...intended to be drunk). Aug 15, 2021 at 11:24
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    Does this answer your question? To do or To be done. Which contrasts, for example, This is easy to do and This is easy to be done. Aug 15, 2021 at 11:29

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