a bad habit hard to break

< Previous | Next >

WildWest

Senior Member
Turkish
Hi. Can you help me with the following? I saw it on Google during my search for something I can't remember at the moment. The underlined phrase functions as an adjective, so it must be an adjectival phrase. Is it normal to use it this way? There seems to be an omitted which is or that is between the words habit and hard. Until now, I used them a lot. Now, I'm a little hesitant about it.

"Gambling is a bad habit hard to break."

Here are some other examples. This time, self-made:

a. He's a person impossible to get on well with! (it's another story that a person can be omitted)
b. Chess is a good game easy to play.
c. Whiskey is a kind of alcohol bad/not good for health.
d. New York is a city hard to live in.
e. The soldiers retreated back to their base impossible to sneak.

My personal thought is that's a poetic way of saying things and not much heard in conversation.
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Only (a) and (d) are possible for me. I don't think the structure has a poetic effect.

    I think that you cannot have any description before the noun to use this structure: that is why (b) and (c) don't work for me. I don't understand (e).
     

    WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Only (a) and (d) are possible for me. I don't think the structure has a poetic effect.

    I think that you cannot have any description before the noun to use this structure: that is why (b) and (c) don't work for me. I don't understand (e).
    Thanks for the reply, natkretep. I see why (b) and (c) don't work. (b) has good and c has kind of before the noun. In (e), I thought the phrase impossible to sneak might modify the soldiers' base, but apparently it doesn't. The question is, are we always free to use this structure whenever we don't have anything before the noun, as in the examples you found possible?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    [....]The question is, are we always free to use this structure whenever we don't have anything before the noun, as in the examples you found possible?
    I would be reluctant to make a general claim like this. Other people may have the same feeling, which could explain why you have had to wait so long for an answer.

    natkretep was able to give general rule about when this does not work. It is more difficult make a rule about what always will work. In other contexts, there may be other factors that would make this structure difficult to follow.
     

    WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Thanks for the replies. I opened a thread connected with this question months ago. I put the following examples and was told authors sometimes do such things for more and better emphasis.

    1) After an arduous journey through lands little known....
    2) Across the river in lands far away.....

    The first is from a browser-based game; the second a TV series. As you realize, the placement of "little known" and "far away" is the problem, which is the same as this question.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top