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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default have difficulty or difficulties

    Michael Swan says in his PRACTICAL ENGLISH USAGE:
    I'm having difficulty with my daughter's maths homework.
    You won't have much difficulty (in) getting to know people in Italy.

    Swan also says we mustn't use difficulties in this structure.

    But I read these sentences in CAMBRIDGE LEARNER'S DICTIONARY:
    People are having difficulties keeping up the payments on their loans. (keep)
    They had difficulties finding somewhere to live. (somewhere)

    Could you please tell me if we can use this structure if we like?

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: have difficulty or difficulties

    The plural examples refer to repeated problems, Swan's examples refer to single ones. Also, the plural implies something more serious to me.

  3. #3
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: have difficulty or difficulties

    Dear sir,

    Thank you very much. When we say high winds, strong winds, floods, heavy rains, and even apologies, congratulations, respects, regards, they seem to refer to something of a greater degree. Am I right in thinking this way?

    Thank you again!

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: have difficulty or difficulties

    greater degree, repetition, duration etc

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