It is easy for him to make her nervous.

In this sentences 'to Infinitive' is done by him.

He was terrified for them to ask too many questions.

But I am not sure in this sentence who is subject of asking. I was aiming to say he got some fear from numerous questions of them.

If 'to infinitive' comes after a 'for noun', does it always means 'to Infinitive' is done by the noun??

  • The second sentence sounds awkward to me, but I am not a native. Do you mean He was terrifying them since he always asked a lot of questions? consider: He agreed with them to stay home. In this case he will stay, not them.
    – Cardinal
    Jun 28, 2016 at 5:31
  • I added to the 2nd sentence with what I was originally meant to say
    – JBL
    Jun 28, 2016 at 6:27
  • @Cardinal, the OP is asking about for, not with: you can't put for in that sentence, but you can in this one He arranged for them to stay at home... and that fits the pattern that the OP proposes, where they will stay.
    – JavaLatte
    Jun 28, 2016 at 6:56
  • @JavaLatte Oh, my bad, I see. I didn't read carefully the bold sentence. I read: "comes after a noun"
    – Cardinal
    Jun 28, 2016 at 7:13
  • then if I want to remain rest of the sentence,, should I use 'of' instead of 'for' in order to mean what i suggested above?
    – JBL
    Jun 28, 2016 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


*He was terrified for them to ask too many questions.

Your sentence is ungrammatical, so I put an asterisk (*) to denote it. Your choice of preposition is wrong. You should use "of".

Other than that, it would be a valid sentence without of them, but a slightly awkward one with.

To answer your main question, no, that is not the case.

The questions were too hard for Jim to solve.

Here, as you expected, Jim is solving questions. However, in a sentence such as

I was sad enough for them not to say anything in my brother's wedding.

The doer is the subject I, not them.
There would be a potential for ambiguity in these cases, but usually the meaning of the sentence is so clear that you don't need double-checking.

As for the wording of your sentence, I'd suggest using the pattern too + adj. + [ . . . ]1 + to + verb as it's commonly used for contexts similar to yours — a person being prevented from doing something for some reason. The intensifier too conveys your meaning perfectly.

He was too scared/terrified of them to ask too many questions.

1: In the blank, you may use "of"/"for"/"with" etc. and a pronoun, depending on how the elements of your sentence relate to one another. In your example, it's of them.

  • Thank you for answering, but I wanna make sure that in your final sentence (He was too .....questions.), is 'he' the one who ask too many question whatever preposition comes like of them or with them?
    – JBL
    Jun 29, 2016 at 4:38
  • @JBL you can think of prepositions as elements that define the relationship of any noun with other nouns in the sentence. In the last sentence, the correct preposition is "of", and the doer is "he", but you can't just change the preposition without touching the meaning or rendering the sentence ungrammatical. If he was too terrified with them, that would've meant that everyone is terrified.
    – M.A.R.
    Jun 29, 2016 at 10:44
  • @ TIPS btw shouldn't the verb 'ask' be the word 'get' instead, to mean what i was aiming? i was thinking 'them' is doer in your and my sentences. So I want you to make it clear now who is doer of the asking in your first and last sentences.
    – JBL
    Jul 1, 2016 at 9:31
  • No, "get" isn't needed @JBL. The doer in my last sentence is "he", and that's understood from the semantics of the sentence.
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 1, 2016 at 10:10
  • @JBL BTW, we have chatrooms you can clear your trivial doubts in.
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 1, 2016 at 10:11

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