Just wanted to know if there are any rules on usage "to" or "for" with the word "difficult".

  • You're looking at it backwards. Prepositions are controlled by the predicate only within its own clause. In a complement clause, like for me to understand you in It's difficult [for me to understand you], the prepositions are controlled by the construction itself and don't depend much on whether the matrix predicate is the word difficult or not. – John Lawler Jul 4 '13 at 13:32
  • Wow. Thank you, sir, that was pretty much informative. – cookieMonster Jul 4 '13 at 13:37

Difficult to do something

Difficult for someone to do something

  • 1
    Those are the rules for all infinitive complements: for marks the subject, and to marks the verb. If the infinitive subject is present with difficult (or with most other non-verbal predicates that take infinitive complements, like a pleasure, easy, common, or interesting), then it gets marked with for. The infinitive verb always gets marked with to except in special cases, like modal verbs and sense verbs. – John Lawler Jul 4 '13 at 13:28

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