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    #1

    difficult to explain vs. to be explained

    Dear Forum Users,

    Could anyone please explain the difference between:

    1. This notion is difficult to explain by a single definition.
    2. This notion is difficult to be expalined by a single definition.

    Are they both correct?

    Thank you.

    Csika
    Last edited by Csika; 17-Jul-2011 at 10:52.

  1. Banned
    Interested in Language
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      • Bosnian
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      • Bosnia Herzegovina
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    #2

    Re: difficult to explain vs. to be explained

    My interpretations of the adjectival complements are:

    Quote Originally Posted by Csika View Post
    1. This notion is difficult to explain by a single definition.
    To explain the notion by a single definition is difficult. The explanation is difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Csika View Post
    2. This notion is difficult to be expalined by a single definition.
    When this notion is explained by a single definition, it is hard to grasp. To grasp the notion is difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Csika View Post
    Are they both correct?
    Yes. Different meanings.
    Last edited by Unardin; 17-Jul-2011 at 14:58. Reason: edit layout

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: difficult to explain vs. to be explained

    The second is quite unnatural to me.
    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. Banned
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    #4

    Re: difficult to explain vs. to be explained

    A bit constrained to me too. Technically possible still, IMO.

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