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    #1

    had difficulty trying/tried

    I think the answer to the following is “trying”.

    It was already 2am. Chris had difficulty trying to keep awake.

    Why the answer can’t be ‘tried’

    Thank you for teaching me!

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: had difficulty trying/tried

    It is because 'in' has been omitted from 'Chris had difficulty in trying to keep awake', where 'tried' cannot be used.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: had difficulty trying/tried

    You cannot have two verbs one after another after a subject - "had" and "tried".
    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: had difficulty trying/tried

    @tedmc, do you mean "two verbs one after another after a subject in the past tense? - "had" and "tried".

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: had difficulty trying/tried

    I think that also applies to the present tense, as in 'I have difficulty (in) trying to ...'
    I am not a teacher.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: had difficulty trying/tried

    I don't think it's the "trying" he's having difficulty with. He's simply "having difficulty staying awake".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: had difficulty trying/tried

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I think that also applies to the present tense, as in 'I have difficulty (in) trying to ...'
    "Trying" is not a verb in the above but a noun(gerund).
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: had difficulty trying/tried

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    He's simply "having difficulty staying awake".
    Agree.
    I also would say that as a native I would never say "trying to keep awake" but "trying to stay awake" instead.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: had difficulty trying/tried

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    "Trying" is not a verb in the above but a noun(gerund).
    It is intended to show that 'trying' should be used instead of 'try', a verb in the present tense.
    'Trying' is a participle instead of a gerund if 'in' is omitted.
    I am not a teacher.

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