Hi,

I can't figure out when I can use "adjective(noun)" pattern without an preposition in between? Such as;

I have some trouble distinguishing these two.

She's always busy comforting her boyfriend.

Other than "busy and trouble which adjectives(nouns) can be applied to this grammer rule?

Thanks in advance..
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Do you happen to have a reference for this construction, Johner?

I'm having a hard time seeing those two examples as gerunds. They seem more like participles to me.

Why do you have "noun" in parentheses?

I'd even be happy if you'd give us an example with "a preposition in between," just so I can see what you mean.

Regards, - A.
Hi,
AvangiDo you happen to have a reference for this construction, Johner?
I don't. I'm not sure that they're gerunds. But it doesn't make any difference. I just want to learn when I can use this structure? with which adjectives or nouns can we ommit the prepositions? (I guess in my examples this adj is "with")

AvangiWhy do you have "noun" in parentheses?
busy is an adjective, trouble is a noun, aren't they?

Somehow we don't need "busy with" or "trouble with". Maybe for the other examples we don't need some other preposition. For example; "I'm not good at learning a language" -->> "I'm not good learning a language". I guess we can't do this. why? what's the difference? Is it the word (busy, trouble, good) or something else?

Thanks..
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johnerI just want to learn when I can use this structure? with which adjectives or nouns can we ommit the prepositions?
I wish I had a list to refer you to, but I'm not aware that anyone has made such a list. I think it's a matter of making our own list and adding to it as we see new examples. I check out synonyms for the possibility that they too allow the same construction.

In the class with trouble(s) are problem(s), difficulty (-ies), and hard.

We had problems fixing the car.

We went jogging together. It was hard keeping up with her.

The second example above is a bit different; it has "dummy it" and the gerund clause "keeping up with her" is a displaced subject.

________

In the class with busy you might put the idiom to have one's hands full.

The babysitter had her hands full taking care of seven children at once.

________

If you find more examples, I suggest adding them to this thread. Emotion: smile

CJ
Hi CJ,

As far as I see, in the class with trouble, this is a "gerund or infinitive" thing. I mean it's not "I have troubles with fixing the car. It's "I have troubles fixing the car" OR "I have troubles to fix the car". Is this true? Because I thought that we didn't put a preposition after "trouble", although we had to do. This made me confused actually.

So if what I said above is true, I have only one problem left to work out and this is "adjective+gerund" such as "busy (with) doing something". I'll be searching for more examples to ask for your help Emotion: smile

Thank you so much.
johnerit's not "I have troubles with fixing the car."
Typically not, no. But it's borderline. You might hear someone say it.

johnerIt's "I have troubles fixing the car" OR "I have troubles to fix the car". Is this true?
Not true. Only the first one is good. I have troubles to fix the car is ungrammatical.

Note: To avoid problems with the terminology "gerund" and "participle", you can refer to them generally as -ing forms.

johnerI'll be searching for more examples
OK. Good idea. Emotion: smile

CJ
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Hi,

A few examples from the internet; this time 'hard time' :

Luce just has a hard time getting along with her best friend's.

I also found the commentary annoying, but I had a hard time putting my finger on what was annoying about it.

Who told Rebecca Black she could sing? Someone lied to her and her voice is annoying! Had a hard time deciding between Black, Bieber, and Cyrus. They are all annoying and silly.
AnonymousA few examples from the internet; this time 'hard time'
Bravo! Emotion: smile

CJ
johnerI have troubles with fixing the car
With fixing the car - is a noun phrase (or may be called preposition phrase) modifying I have a hard time.

I have a hard time fixing the car. Fixing -is a present participle used in the adverbial phrase.

Particple phrases are very common:

I have a difficult time understanding her English.

She spent a whole week preparing food for John's birhtday party.

I was home last night watching TV the whole night. It's also possible to add "with" and transform it to a preposition phrase: I was home last night [with my wife] watching TV the whole night. In this case, [with my wife] watching TV the whole night is the adverbial modifying the main clause.
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