I read his handwriting

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mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
I wrote these three sentences. Please tell me if they sound fine? Thanks.
1.I read his handwriting with difficulty.
2.I have difficulty in reading his handwriting.
3.I find it a difficulty reading his handwriting.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hi,
    I wrote these three sentences. Please tell me if they sound fine? Thanks.
    1.I read his handwriting with difficulty.
    2.I have difficulty in reading his handwriting.
    3.I find it a difficulty reading his handwriting.
    1&2 are OK. 3 is very strange.

    I find it difficult to read his handwriting.
    I have difficulty reading his handwriting.
    It is hard to read his handwriting.
    His handwriting is hard to read.

    In all of these, I would say writing, not handwriting.
     

    ajna13

    New Member
    english. itallian. -usa
    Hi there..
    Umm, the two of your sentences sound ok.
    they just need to be fixed a little..
    you can say it this way.. ' I read his handwriting, with difficulty.'
    or you can say ' I've read his handwriting, with difficulty.'
    the last one should be, ' I find it difficult,reading his handwriting.'
    hope i helped..
     

    Soliloquy

    New Member
    English (United States)
    "His handwriting is illegible." is also okay. Illegible means that it's sloppy, hard-to-read, and possibly not on available lines.
     

    Barnaby

    Member
    English U.S.
    1.I read his handwriting with difficulty.

    This reads as if it is in the past tense, unlike the other two. Ambiguous without being spoken, so no good.

    2.I have difficulty in reading his handwriting.

    Drop the word the “in” word and it will be just fine


    3.I find it a difficulty reading his handwriting.

    Ugh! You're using an adverb as a noun. Try:
    I find it difficult to read his handwriting.

    And then that one is good. Or:

    His handwriting is difficult for me to read.

    Definitely keep handwriting and don’t shorten it to writing. Many writers are difficult to read in printed texts. We’re talking chicken scratch here, yes?
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you for all your suggestions.
    I would like to ask about my third sentence. It is not correct. However, is it fine, if I leave out "it"?
    "I find a difficulty reading his handwriting."
    Or Does it always use as an adjective?
    "I find it difficult reading his writing."
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    3.I find it a difficulty reading his handwriting.
    Ugh! You're using an adverb as a noun. Try:
    I find it difficult to read his handwriting.
    Definitely keep handwriting and don’t shorten it to writing. Many writers are difficult to read in printed texts. We’re talking chicken scratch here, yes?
    Hi,
    You said I used an adverb as a noun but I didn't use any adverb. What did you mean to say this?
    It is very interesting to know "chicken scratch". We also have the same " chữ như gà bới."
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Thank you for all your suggestions.
    I would like to ask about my third sentence. It is not correct. However, is it fine, if I leave out "it"?
    "I find a difficulty reading his handwriting.":cross: I have difficulty reading..."
    Or Does it always use as an adjective?
    "I find it difficult reading his writing." :cross: I find it difficult to read..."
    I agree with Panj in that "handwriting" is unncessary. If we say:

    "I have difficulty reading his writing", it goes without saying that we are not talking about his footwriting.;)
     

    Barnaby

    Member
    English U.S.
    "I have difficulty reading his writing", it goes without saying that we are not talking about his footwriting.

    I will reiterate: It does not go without saying that we don't find the syntax and grammar difficult as opposed to the script written by the hand. I think my writing is relatively easy to read, but my handwriting is at times inscrutable because I write with my left hand and handwriting is the creation of right-handed people.
     

    Barnaby

    Member
    English U.S.
    Hi,
    You said I used an adverb as a noun but I didn't use any adverb. What did you mean to say this?
    It is very interesting to know "chicken scratch". We also have the same " chữ như gà bới."
    I would say (and there may be exceptions) that difficulty is mostly and adverb, in this case modifying the verb "to read" although it does seem to always require some assistance (with difficulty, had difficulty)

    Chicken scratch refers to bad handwriting. You got that, yes?
     

    Barnaby

    Member
    English U.S.
    Thank you for all your suggestions.
    I would like to ask about my third sentence. It is not correct. However, is it fine, if I leave out "it"?
    "I find a difficulty reading his handwriting."
    Or Does it always use as an adjective?
    "I find it difficult reading his writing."
    I find it difficult reading his writing.

    Perfectly acceptable.

    More perfect, to my ear, would be to substitute "to read" for "reading" but this is more of an aesthetic rather than a grammatic choice.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I think I understand the differentiation Barnaby is making between writing and handwriting.

    Handwriting means specifically what you write by hand onto a piece of paper.

    But writing could mean more than that. It could mean a written piece of information about any number of subjects. It could have been typed, or it could, in fact, have been written by hand.

    In this instance, and for the sake of the original question, I think handwriting is the better choice, because it's specific to a specific incidence.

    Not that writing is incorrect. But the other, handwriting, works perfectly in this situation.

    AngelEyes
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    1&2 are OK. 3 is very strange.
    I prefer the first two, but I find the third wordy but not particularly strange.

    EDIT: "find/finds/found it a difficulty" does seem to be quite rare."
    I find it difficult to read his handwriting.
    I have difficulty reading his handwriting.
    It is hard to read his handwriting.
    His handwriting is hard to read.


    In all of these, I would say writing, not handwriting.
    These are all fine and show many ways the same simple idea may be written.

    However, I would use "handwriting", at least in some situations. "Writing" is also used for text.

    "Faulkner's use of long, complicated sentences makes it difficult for me to read his writing."

    Here I would be referring to his writing style. Perhaps my usage is a bit sloppy.

    Gaer
     

    Barnaby

    Member
    English U.S.
    I think I understand the differentiation Barnaby is making between writing and handwriting.

    Handwriting means specifically what you write by hand onto a piece of paper.

    But writing could mean more than that. It could mean a written piece of information about any number of subjects. It could have been typed, or it could, in fact, have been written by hand.

    In this instance, and for the sake of the original question, I think handwriting is the better choice, because it's specific to a specific incidence.

    Not that writing is incorrect. But the other, handwriting, works perfectly in this situation.

    AngelEyes
    There you go! Yes. Do I have touble deciphering the marks on the page, or do I have trouble making sense of marks that are in and of themsleves no problem? Handwriting vs. writing.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    "I have difficulty reading his writing", it goes without saying that we are not talking about his footwriting.

    I will reiterate: It does not go without saying that we don't find the syntax and grammar difficult as opposed to the script written by the hand. I think my writing is relatively easy to read, but my handwriting is at times inscrutable because I write with my left hand and handwriting is the creation of right-handed people.
    Sorry that I did not see this post and others following it until after I answered.

    I would clarify by using "style of writing", "writing style" or something else to make it clear that you are talking about your "text" is you are not talking about your way of writing by hand… :)
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    gaer,

    I do see what you're saying, but still...

    Style of writing is a third element thrown into this mix! What is that...a descriptive phrase? Anyone can help me out, here.

    You may understand what a person is writing(the work itself).

    You may be able to read it because they have clear and concise penmanship (handwriting).

    But you may not understand their style of writing because they use complicated words when simple, direct words would suffice. Or the style of writing can also mean you just don't like their way of thinking and the resulting words they use to express that thinking irritates, insults, or bores you.

    That's why I like Barnaby's input the best...it's absolutely clear when you tie it in with the original post.

    When it comes to words and writing...keep it simple, stupid...is my mantra. :)


    AngelEyes
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    You may understand what a person is writing (the work itself).

    If it is clear that you are talking about the work itself, "writing" is perfect.

    If you are talking about a famous author, writing will also be fine.

    "I have difficulty understanding the writing of Faulkner". Obviously I am not talking about what he may have written by hand.

    Other words would only be necessary to clarify in ambiguous situations.

    To me "writing style" means choice of vocabulary, sentence structure, etc. If you have problems reading the writing of an author, it is likely that some of those things bother you and interfer with your comprehension.
     
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