Can word combination "without strain" be used in figurative sense, for example "He speaks English without strain." and is it literary?
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Just about anything can be used in the figurative sense in English, and I heartily encourage you to partake of this license — provided, of course, that your figures of speech are apt and not themselves strained. The one you mentioned is fine, however; that said, I still would probably have used difficulty instead of strain there.