IELTS Marshalls

“I have a hard time…”

Over the years, I’ve heard a common mistake made over and over again. 

These students say:

I have difficulty to understand movies in another language.”

However, in English, this expression isn’t correct. The correct way to say this is:

I have difficulty understanding movies in another language.”

The -ing form of the verb comes after “I have difficulty…”

I want you to know that there’s an even BETTER way to say, “I have difficulty…” 

You can say this instead: “I have a hard time…”

I have a hard time understanding movies in English.”

I have a hard time falling asleep at night.” 

I have a hard time staying motivated at work.” 

The expression: “I have a hard time…” sounds extremely native and natural.

You can easily use this expression in the speaking section. For example, during Part 1, the examiner might ask:

“Do you like to read?”

You can say:

“Yes. I love reading at night to my kids. However, I’m not that great at reading really long books; I have a hard time remembering the characters’ names.”

It’s your turn: Write a sentence using the expression: “I have a hard time…” Type it in the comments below!

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