for him to lose

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.
Post Reply

for him to lose

Post by navi » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:00 am

1) It would be good for him to lose.
2) For him to lose would be good.

Can both these sentences have both of these meanings:

a) It would be a good thing if he loses.
b) It would be good thing for him if he loses. He would benefit from losing.

I think that for '2' to have meaning 'b' we would need a comma after 'him'. I think '1' is ambiguous.


Re: for him to lose

Post by Phil White » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:26 pm

No comma needed. Both formulations are ambiguous and a comma is simply wrong.

My intuition tells me that if we really wanted to explicitly express meaning b), we would use the formulation you suggest (it would be a good thing for him if he lost") or some some similar formulation ("it would do him good to lose").
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Post Reply