difficulty grappling with/ to grapple with

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LQZ

Senior Member
Mandarin
China is not viewed as a trouble spot for the United States. But this administration, like its predecessor, has had difficulty grappling with a rising power that seems eager to avoid direct clashes with the United States but affects its interests in many areas, including currency policy, nuclear proliferation, climate change and military spending.---taken from The New York Times
Dear all,

If I use "to grapple with" to substitute for "grappling with" , does the meaning of the above change?


difficulty grappling with---> implies the United States has grappled with China, although it is very difficult.

difficulty to grapple with---> means it is too difficult to grapple with China.

If my interpretation is wrong, please correct me. Thanks.


LQZ
 
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  • shawnee

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    'Grappling' here is equivalent to 'dealing with.' I wouldn't change the participle 'grappling' to the infinitive 'to grapple'. It would result in 'difficulty to grapple with' which does not work for reasons I'm not sure I can explain. I simply cannot see any reason why a change, particularly the one proposed, is necessary here.
     
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    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Hi, shawnee, thanks.

    But I am still confused about difference between "grappling with" and "to grapple with" in this case, and whether there are some situations in which "to grapple with" works well?
     

    shawnee

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Sorry LQZ; the thought of having to grapple with this question only highlights my grammatical inadequacies:)
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Like Shawnee, I have my own grammatical inadequacies, but I would suggest that "to grapple" here is simply (or maybe, generally) wrong.

    If I may make an observation, LQZ, I hear this all the time from my Chinese friends, so it may be possible that you think it's correct because you hear it fairly often.

    I'm sure there's someone here who has the requisite grammar skills to offer a better explanation.
     

    LQZ

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    shawnee, I do treasure your replies. :)

    I have looked difficulty up in my dictionary which states a formula "be difficulty doing something", I got it.

    To Copyright, I am done after looking up in dictionary, thank you so much.:)
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    shawnee, I do treasure your replies. :)

    I have looked difficulty up in my dictionary which states a formula "be difficulty doing something", I got it.
    "be difficulty doing something"? That's worrying... I would have expected "have difficulty doing something."
     
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