grammatical expression: can’t be bothered to…

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A while ago a friend of mine asked me to explain today’s grammatical expression: “can’t be bothered”, so I will pass that information on to you today.

We use this expression when we want to talk about something that we should do but which we don’t have enough physical or emotional energy to do. For example:

My apartment is so messy right now because I just had a party, but I can’t be bothered to clean up tonight. I’ll do it tomorrow when I’m not so tired.

I can’t be bothered to explain the meaning of this philosophy book to Greg because he’ll never understand it.

My wife and I couldn’t be bothered to make dinner last night because we both had to work overtime. We just ordered a pizza instead.

We can also use this expression to talk about being annoyed or angry with another person for their inconsiderate behavior. For example:

My husband can be so inconsiderate! I often make nice dinners for him, but he can’t be bothered to thank me!

I’m so annoyed at my friend Mary right now! It was my birthday yesterday, but she couldn’t be bothered to call me or send a card!

I’m really angry at my neighbor’s kids now! They broke my window with their baseball, but they couldn’t be bothered to apologize to me!

When we use “can’t be bothered” as in the first meaning, “I” or “we” is the subject of the sentence. When we use this expression as in the second meaning, “he”, “she” or “they” is the subject of the sentences. Please note that the word “can’t” can be changed to “couldn’t” if we are talking about a past situation.

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1 Comment »

  1. shilpa Said:

    Am regular visitor of your blog.it is so helpful for improving my english


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