"I can be keen to do something, and i can be too keen. If I am too keen to do something, am i overly keen to do something, or so keen that i am not able to do something?"

Is it hopelessly ambiguous or could a comma help?

  • is this the sentence written somewhere? source please. – Maulik V Nov 20 '14 at 4:28
  • I wanted to write it and got confused. How would context help in applying grammatical rules? – vectable Nov 20 '14 at 4:50
  • Okay, proofreading is offtopic here but you are new to this site so I may help you here in comment. What exactly you want to write? Or you just want to play with words? – Maulik V Nov 20 '14 at 4:53
  • I just thought it was a clever question, whether there is a grammatical rule to take care of this overlap of rules, or if there is no overlap, or if it is ambiguous. keen to and too X to don't mix well. Maybe "keen to" is just not proper, or not comparable, like enthusiastic, therefore I just avoided the construct. Clearly it's illegal and I expected a rule to prove that. – vectable Nov 20 '14 at 5:29

Yes, you can be keen to do something.
Yes, you can be too keen, too.
If you are too keen to do something,
It means that you want to do that thing
Very much so, overly so, so you say 'too keen'.
It doesn't say that you know how to do it
But you surely want to do it--so eagerly so.

"I am too keen to do something", and
"I, too, am keen to do that thing"
Are two different things, and
Commas will help to clarify the difference.

A word of warning: being keen on something
Does not make you unable to do that thing,
Or at least people wouldn't think so.
Saying "I am so keen that I am not able to do something"
Gives me a ring of a weird scene,
Such as someone was too keen to sing, but choked!

  • Thanks, I should tag it for usage as well! can't flag as correct answer to the question, though. – vectable Nov 20 '14 at 16:55
  • Thinking about it, I'll accept that enthusiasm is never a problem, so that too keen isn't applicable. It couldn't be a rule for the preposition to with any adjective, as I would understand the to in too daring to ... to relate to too, not the adjective. – vectable Nov 20 '14 at 17:03

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