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A) He didn't have enough strength to walk upstairs.

B) He didn't have much strength to walk upstairs.

Is the sentence A gramatically correct?

If so, is there a difference between the two?

Thanks for your help in advance.

Candy
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Comments  
Yes, A is correct. It means he was too weak to go upstairs, so we can gather he stayed on the groundfloor.

B can be paraphrased as "he didn't have a lot of strength to go upstairs". Maybe he'll try?
I'm not sure B is idiomatic, though: I can't get it to mean anything...

Maybe => "he didn't have much strength for walking upstairs".

MrP
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Thanks for your reply, Wistiti and Mr. P Emotion: smile

I see... so there's a difference in meaning.

Regarding sentence B, does it sound natural to you?

Or is it grammatically incorrect?

Thanks.
B is not grammatically incorrect, but I wonder in what context it could fit... MrP? Have an idea?
Thank you, PieanneEmotion: smile
PieanneB is not grammatically incorrect, but I wonder in what context it could fit... MrP? Have an idea?
Now I'll wait for Mr. P's answer......
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No, I can't think of a context for B...It doesn't mean anything to me!

But it seems to be the example that's odd, rather than the structure. These are ok, for instance, as examples of "didn't/don't have much X + to-infinitive":

1. I didn't have much incentive to go to work today.

2. I don't have much work to do.

MrP
These are ok, for instance, as examples of "didn't/don't have much X + to-infinitive":

1. I didn't have much incentive to go to work today.

2. I don't have much work to do.

And you could say, "He didn't have much desire to walk upstairs"

or "he didn't have much reason to walk upstairs,"

or "he didn't have much need to walk upstairs."

Somehow in the sentence "he didn't have much strength to walk upstairs," it suggests that he might have strength for other things, but not much of the specific kind of strength needed to walk upstairs. I think this is why it sounds a little strange. I think "to walk upstairs" needs to describe the noun that precedes it , and it just doesn't seem to fit with "strength."

However, I can offer one possible context for "he didn't have much strength to walk upstairs, " although in this case I would use "up stairs" instead: He works on the tenth floor. Usually he walks up the stairs for exercise, but today he didn't have much strength to walk up stairs so he took the elevator instead.

(Would "enough strength" be better in that example? I think not -- we don't know that it was completely beyond his capability, just that it would have been difficult.)

Does any of this make any sense?
That's interesting, khoff – I'd have chosen "enough strength to walk upstairs", in that context.

(You could also say "he didn't have the strength to walk upstairs".)

There must be a reason why we can say "not much desire to" but not "not much strength to". Maybe it relates to the "understated" aspect of the phrase "don't have much X to".

MrP
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