We've been having difficulty getting...

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Oletta

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

I have a problem with the expression "to have difficulty" + verb. The key to the exercise implies the gerund, but to my way of thinking the infinitive with "to" is also acceptable. Here's the example:

We've been having difficulty getting the right people for the show.

vs

We've been having difficulty to get the right people for the show.

Thank you for your help.

Oletta
 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello everyone,

    I have a problem with the expression "to have difficulty" + verb. The key to the exercise implies the gerund, but to my way of thinking the infinitive with "to" is also acceptable. Here's the example:

    We've been having difficulty getting the right people for the show.

    vs

    We've been having difficulty to get the right people for the show.

    Thank you for your help.

    Oletta
    I think having difficulty getting is far more idiomatic that having difficulty to get, Oletta.

    I tried Googling "having difficulty to get" and had no difficulty getting half a million entries but most of the ones on the early pages were from non-native speakers, like this one from a Spanish hospital:
    Have women, who use IUD (Intrauterine contraceptive device) as a contraceptive, more difficulty to get pregnant? :cross:

    I think a native would say Have women who use this device more difficulty getting pregnant, or even more difficulty in getting pregnant.

    We could easily say:

    We have found it difficult to get the right people for the job.

    or

    We have found it difficult getting the right people for the job.
     

    Oletta

    Senior Member
    Thank you Thomas. It is a complicated expression as it is easily confused with "it's difficult to get". And yes, I forgot having been taught the expression "to have difficulty in doing sth", but I haven't thought it might work without the preposition in.
     
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