+0
Hello,

The following sentence confuses me a little, mostly because it sounds strange to my ears. My apologies for not being more specific and for not knowing the related terminology.

"I woke up at five am today with what seemed like difficulty breathing."

1) Should 'today', and 'five am' trade places? What is the effect of doing so? Does that change the meaning of the sentence? As it is, is the emphasis on 'today' or '5 am'?

eg: "I woke up today at five am with what seemed like difficulty breathing."

2) Should there be a comma between 'today' and 'with'?

eg: "I woke up at five am today, with what seemed like difficulty breathing."

3) Does the phrase "difficulty breathing" have the same meaning as "breathing difficulties"?

eg: "I woke up at five am today with what seemed like breathing difficulties." / "... to be breathing difficulties."

"Breathing difficulties" and "difficulty breathing" seem to conjure different mental images but I lack the linguistic ability to elaborate on it.

If these questions are related to any particular grammatical rule, please let me know!

Thanks in advance,

Whitesands.
Comments  
1) Either way is completely acceptable and normal, although I believe it should say "AM" rather than "am."

2) No, there should not be. The sentence would be incorrectly structured if there was a comma there.

3) This could just be my preference, and I don't know if there is some rule of grammar about this, but "breathing difficulties" sounds better to me. To my knowledge, the mean the same thing though.