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Thread: difficulty in

  1. #1
    Silverobama is offline Senior Member
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    Default difficulty in

    Hi,

    I am wondering if I need to rewrite the sentence "I've difficulty shopping with you" as "I've difficulty in shopping with you"? Or perhaps the "in" is left out but understood by the native speakers?

    Thanks a lot

  2. #2
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    Default Re: difficulty in

    Hi,
    Don't contract "I have" when it's the main verb. (Same with "I am.")

    I have difficulty shopping with you. No "in."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    Silverobama is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: difficulty in

    So "Have difficulty doing something" is a set phrase?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: difficulty in

    I actually find that phrase in that context quite unnatural.

    I have trouble going shopping with you.
    I have problems with shopping with you.
    Shopping with you is a nightmare!

    With this context, you're not really saying that it's physically difficult to go shopping with someone. You're saying that the experience of going shopping with that person is one that you don't enjoy and that you don't find easy or relaxing. Sometimes "difficult" isn't just the exact opposite of "easy".



    To me, it sounds fine with:

    I have difficulty speaking English.
    I have difficulty building flat-pack furniture.
    I have difficulty remembering to drive on the right in France.

    Maybe that's because it actually does mean that you genuinely find those things difficult, hard to do, they are complicated or difficult to remember.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: difficulty in

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    So "Have difficulty doing something" is a set phrase?
    I wouldn't go that far. But when "have difficulty" is followed by a verb, "in" isn't necessary.
    You could follow it with a noun, in which case "in" might be necessary: "I have difficulty in relationships." but, "I have difficulty relating to other people".
    Some people might prefer "I have difficulty in relating to other people." But the preposition is not essential.

    Here's another example with nouns and verbs:
    "I have difficulties with children"; "I have difficulties dealing with children." (No preposition before 'dealing')

  6. #6
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: difficulty in

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I actually find that phrase in that context quite unnatural.

    To me, it sounds fine with:

    I have difficulty speaking English.
    I have difficulty building flat-pack furniture.
    I have difficulty remembering to drive on the right in France.

    Maybe that's because it actually does mean that you genuinely find those things difficult, hard to do, they are complicated or difficult to remember.
    Is it natural to say 'I have no difficulty to speak/communicate in English'?

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: difficulty in

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Is it natural to say 'I have no difficulty to speak/communicate in English'?
    No. We don't say, "I have no difficulty to <verb>"

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: difficulty in

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Is it natural to say 'I have no difficulty to speak/communicate in English'?
    No.

    I have no difficulty speaking English.
    I have no difficulty communicating in English.

    (Note that "communicating" is followed by "in" but "speaking" is not.)

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