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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default The question difficult to answer

    Many teachers in China's classrooms like setting such a question:

    The next question ( ) was put to me by Mary.
    A\ I found difficult to answer
    B\ I found it difficult to answer
    C\ that I found it difficuilt to answer
    D\ I found difficult to answer it
    The given answer is A.

    With A the sentence might be grammatically correct, but I do doubt that native speakers will say such things. So I did some searching on the web of reference.com and google.com, and there are no results for "the question I found difficult to answer" or "the question I found it diffucult to answer".

    Could native English teachers kindly help me solve my question?

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The question difficult to answer

    A is simply, flatout wrong. It could work only as part of a longer sentence: "It was a question that I found difficult to answer."
    B is perfectly correct.
    C is good if the context is right: "The question was so vague that I found it difficult to answer."
    D is wrong.

    It's a good idea to check with us if an exam answer or a textbook item doesn't make sense to you. It seems they are often wrong.

    regards
    edward
    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Many teachers in China's classrooms like setting such a question:



    The next question ( ) was put to me by Mary.
    A\ I found difficult to answer
    B\ I found it difficult to answer
    C\ that I found it difficuilt to answer
    D\ I found difficult to answer it
    The given answer is A.

    With A the sentence might be grammatically correct, but I do doubt that native speakers will say such things. So I did some searching on the web of reference.com and google.com, and there are no results for "the question I found difficult to answer" or "the question I found it diffucult to answer".

    Could native English teachers kindly help me solve my question?

    Thank you very much.

  3. #3
    chibi is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: The question difficult to answer

    Quote Originally Posted by baqarah131 View Post
    A is simply, flatout wrong. It could work only as part of a longer sentence: "It was a question that I found difficult to answer."
    B is perfectly correct.
    C is good if the context is right: "The question was so vague that I found it difficult to answer."
    D is wrong.
    Sorry Sir, but I still wonder. With me, B and D is nearly the same.
    Could you tell me the difference in details?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The question difficult to answer

    The problem with both A and D is that "found it difficult" is a fixed expression. You can't eliminate the "it."

    So you've got "it" used in two different ways--as part of the expression "found it difficult", and as the pronoun referring to the question.

    She found it difficult to concentrate during the exam.
    She answered it.

    Do you see the difference between the two uses of "it"?

    D could be reworded: I found it difficult to answer it.

    Let me show you the expression "found it difficult."
    She asked me if I loved her, and I found it difficult to answer.
    He need money, but he found it difficult to get a job.
    She went back to school when she was 50, and she found it difficult.
    My children get too much homework. They find it difficult to finish it all and still have time for sports and friends.

    This is a tough question. I found it difficult to answer.
    edward


    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Sorry Sir, but I still wonder. With me, B and D is nearly the same.
    Could you tell me the difference in details?

  5. #5
    chibi is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: The question difficult to answer

    I see your example all. However, I'm not good at English so I'm still confused.

    If I use I found the question difficult to answer, is that right?

    if yes, what are differences between I found the question difficult to answer and I found difficult to answer the question?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The question difficult to answer

    I found the question difficult to answer is perfect.
    Maybe the question was something like "what is the value of pi to 15 decimal points?

    Re I found difficult to answer the question:
    You MUST add "found it difficult."
    I found it difficult to answer the question.

    This could have exactly the same meaning as "I found the question difficult to answer." Maybe it was a difficult question.
    But it could be that the question wasn't the problem. Something else was.

    I found it difficult to answer the question because the room was hot and noisy.
    ...because I was embarrassed, and didn't want to admit the truth.
    ...because I knew she'd be angry if I told her.
    ...because I didn't want to make trouble for my friend.
    ...because I was tired, and I just wanted to go home.

    Are we getting there?
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    I see your example all. However, I'm not good at English so I'm still confused.

    If I use I found the question difficult to answer, is that right?

    if yes, what are differences between I found the question difficult to answer and I found difficult to answer the question?

  7. #7
    chibi is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: The question difficult to answer

    Quote Originally Posted by baqarah131 View Post
    I found the question difficult to answer is perfect.
    Maybe the question was something like "what is the value of pi to 15 decimal points?

    Re I found difficult to answer the question:
    You MUST add "found it difficult."
    I found it difficult to answer the question.
    Thank you very much, Edward. The underlined part is exactly the answer for my question. I have always used to find difficult to do something. Thank for your explaination, I see it is wrong to use the structure.

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