with (an) effort

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Lecword, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Lecword Senior Member

    Hola a todos:

    Quisiera saber si la palabra 'effort' es contable, incontable o ambas, si tiene que ver con la diferencia entre AE y BE y si hay alguna expresión con la que obligatoriamente tengamos que utilizar el artículo indeterminado. Me han comentado que en BE la expresión 'con dificultad' es 'with an effort' y en AE 'with effort'. ¿Es correcto?

    Tampoco tengo claro por qué se dice 'a great deal of effort' y no 'a large number of effort' si 'effort' puede ser contable e incontable.

    Muchísimas gracias por vuestra ayuda.
  2. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    I can't comment on BrEn, but in AmEn "with effort" is more common.

    He opened the door with effort.

    However, the article sounds correct to me, too, as does "with some/considerable/etc. effort."

    "A great deal of effort" is a set phrase. If you said "a great number of efforts," it would mean that many attempts were made over a period of time, but the set phrase just means that a powerful effort was required, one time.
  3. Lecword Senior Member

    Many thanks! :)
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    I think it depends on the context (surprise!)


    Wow! That was an effort. :tick:
    Wow! That was effort. :cross:

    I made a big effort to persuade him. :tick:
    I made big effort to persuade him. :cross:
  5. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    Biffo, I understood the question to be about (an) effort following with as a translation of con dificultad. In the examples you give, there is no difference whatsoever between BrEn and AmEn.
  6. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    Lecword - could you give us a complete sentence? It is difficult to answer out of context.

  7. Lecword Senior Member

    This is one of the sentences I found in my book: 'I had to make a great deal of effort but I finally finished the job' (I think here 'effort' is uncountable because of the expression 'a great deal').
    I also found 'You have to make an effort' (Here 'effort' is countable because of 'an'?)
    So when do we say 'much effort' or 'many efforts'?
    Does the expression 'with (an) effort' always mean 'con dificultad'? Is the article needed in this phrase or not?

    Many thanks for your help!
  8. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    Yes, it's uncountable.
    Tuve que hacer muchísimo esfuerzo, pero por fin terminé el trabajo.
    Me costó muchísimo esfuerzo, pero por fin terminé el trabajo.

    Yes, it's countable here, although we would never say "I had to make two efforts." The only time I can think of when we say "efforts" is when talking about the efforts of plural people. That is, each person makes one effort, but many people make many efforts. Ex.: The theater was remodeled through the efforts of many in the community.

    No, wait, that's not true. We also say, "It was through his efforts that we finished the job."

    Yes, as far as I can see.

    In AmEn it is optional, although the phrase is much more common without an article.

    He opened the door with effort.
    He opened the door with an effort.

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