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Consider this sentence:

The solution to this question should no more difficult be obtained than that to the other question.

Is this sentence grammatical?

Is difficult here used as an adverb?

1 Answer 1

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Difficult is an adjective. There is no adverb like "difficultly". If you want an adverb there is "laboriously" or "arduously" or you can use "with difficulty"

Your sentence is not grammatically correct, here are better examples:

The solution to this question should not be more difficult to obtain than that to the other question.

The solution to this question should not be obtained with more difficulty than that to the other question.

The solution to this question should not be obtained more laboriously than that to the other question.

Edit: Following the comments, here's an example of an easier sentence:

"Obtaining the answer to this question should not be more difficult than obtaining the one to the other question"

I used "answer" here, which is more friendly with "question". "Solution" would be more appropriate for a "problem"

Hope that helps you to understand

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  • It still isn't grammatical: it needs to be “of the other question” or “than the other question’s”. Even once that’s fixed, it’s a terrible sentence, as if people go off somewhere to “obtain” a solution by begging, borrowing, or stealing them. “The solution to this question shouldn’t be any harder to work out than the other question’s solution was.” Or should be no harder. I know you’ve tried to preserve his wording, but it’s really awful: there are any number of ways to rephrase this as a native speaker might, but neither the original nor yours would normally be amongst these.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 12:13
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    @tchrist It sounds very normal to me to "obtain" a solution to a question, especially if you are cheating for an exam, for example. The use of TO in "solution TO the question" is perfectly ok also, see this question: english.stackexchange.com/questions/14753/… You might prefer problem to question or other things.. but that's just preferrence, the OP only wanted something gramatically correct. I understand your point nonetheless, feel free to edit my answer to add additional wordings that you deem more elegant. thank you :)
    – Manuki
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 12:26
  • Trust me: “than that to the other question” is nonsense here.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 12:31
  • yeah this part is definitely difficult. maybe it would be more clear to repeat: "more difficult than the solution to the other question" ..?
    – Manuki
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 12:32
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    @tchrist In "The solution to X ... than that to Y", how is the parallelism absent? It seems OK to me -- "that" means "the solution".
    – Rosie F
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 15:41

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