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    #1

    it's very difficult not getting any letters.

    I shall be glad when the post office workers go back, it's very difficult not getting any letters.
    Can I say it's very difficult not to get any letters?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: it's very difficult not getting any letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    I shall be glad when the post office workers go back, it's very difficult not getting any letters.
    Can I say it's very difficult not to get any letters?
    No.

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    #3

    Re: it's very difficult not getting any letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    No.
    What does "it" mean in "it's very difficult not getting any letters"?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: it's very difficult not getting any letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    What does "it" mean in "it's very difficult not getting any letters"?
    It's a dummy subject.
    "Not getting any letters is very difficult" -> "It's very difficult not getting any letters."
    "Being fat is unhealthy" -> "It's unhealthy being fat."

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    #5

    Re: it's very difficult not getting any letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It's a dummy subject.
    "Not getting any letters is very difficult" -> "It's very difficult not getting any letters."
    "Being fat is unhealthy" -> "It's unhealthy being fat."
    Can we say "It's unhealthy to be fat"?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: it's very difficult not getting any letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    Can we say "It's unhealthy to be fat"?
    Yes

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: it's very difficult not getting any letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    Can we say "It's unhealthy to be fat"?
    Yes, but if I wrote that, it wouldn't be an example of what I was trying to explain.

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    #8

    Re: it's very difficult not getting any letters.

    1. It's very difficult not to get any letters. (according to bhaisahab, incorrect)
    2. It's very difficult not getting any letters. (correct)
    3. It's unhealthy to be fat. (correct)
    4. It's unhealthy being fat. (correct)
    Why is #1 incorrect?

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: it's very difficult not getting any letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    1. It's very difficult not to get any letters. (according to bhaisahab, incorrect)
    2. It's very difficult not getting any letters. (correct)
    3. It's unhealthy to be fat. (correct)
    4. It's unhealthy being fat. (correct)
    Why is #1 incorrect?
    Yes, I agree with bhaisahab.
    First, I'll try to explain the problem. In many cases, you could say it either way, (as you have in 3, 4) and transposing the sentence as I did, could change the wording:
    Being fat is unhealthy -> either 3 or 4.
    But sometimes it makes a difference, if "<verbing> something" doesn't mean the same as "to <verb> something" - which has discussed here often.

    In the case of "receiving letters/ to receive letters" there is a difference.
    In fact, 1. is correct if you mean it this way: I don't want to get letters, but it's difficult to avoid it. In this sense, you might say, " "1. It's very difficult not to get any spam emails."
    This doesn't mean: "1a. Getting no spam emails in very difficult". which was your meaning, ie. "I'm unhappy when I don't get spam emails".

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