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Passive Voice

CharmYou

CharmYou

Ireland

I recently got into a discussion with someone about the grammar Passive Voice in the following sentences. 



Is that too much to ask for?


Is that too much to be asked for?


Is that too much to ask?



I chose the passive voice (2nd one) because it makes sense to me. Because the stuff is being asked for, not asking for something else. So I’d say stuff to be asked for. However, this also sounds a bit strange to me because we say “It’s too much to take” instead of “too much to be taken”. Though if we analyze it, “It is too much to be taken” would make perfect grammatical sense to me because whatever it refers to, it is to be taken. So I’d say “to be taken” would make more sense than “too much to take”.



How would you explain this grammar usage so that it’d make more sense to me?

03:01 AM Apr 26 2016 |

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Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi,



All of your examples use correct grammar, but they have slightly different meanings:



Is that too much to ask for?


- Usually, the person who is asking for something is speaking this question.


- The focus here is asking for something (a favor, an object, work); however, this isn’t as common as your last example.



Is that too much to be asked for?


- Usually, the person who is being asked (by another person) for something is speaking this question.


- I have not often heard this; however, it makes sense grammatically and it clearly communicates. 



Is that too much to ask?


- Usually, the person who is asking any question is speaking this question.


- This is the most common version of this question.



The confusing thing is that expressions such as “Is that too much to ask?” and “It’s too much to take” are almost like idioms. In other words, people repeat them this way so many times that it sounds like the only correct way to use these expressions. However, all of your examples are possible in English grammar. 



I hope that helps!



Best, 



Amy

01:29 PM Apr 27 2016 |

CharmYou

CharmYou

Ireland

Thank you :)

01:09 PM Apr 29 2016 |