In the sentence:

I understand the difficulty of remaining objective.

Should it be as is, or should it be like this:

I understand the difficulty in remaining objective.

  • 1
    Either would work. You could also use with. That's English for you.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


Why do you think that either might be ‘a horrible sentence’?

The two would be used on different occasions. ‘The difficulty of remaining objective’ states a general principle. ‘The difficulty in remaining objective’ would be more appropriate in a particular case. It might even apply to a case in which someone had already remained objective, or was on the point of doing so.


Either form is fine.

I prefer, "I understand the difficultly in remaining objective": there is perhaps slightly more emphasis on the "remaining", on involvement in an action, a struggle.

One would not say, "I had no difficulty of remaining objective", or, "I had the difficulty in remaining objective" - does that help to clarify the distinction?

No? Okay, instead how about, "I understand that it can be difficult to remain objective".

"Yes sir, so it is claimed."

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