I believe "they are often in difficult situation" should also be accepted, because "difficoltá" also means a situation. If we want to use difficulty we should say "They often have difficulties", but difficulty is not something in which anyone could be. You can have it, but you cannot be in it. Is there any British out there who could confirm or disapprove it? Thank you in advance.
This is a great example of where using a cognate does not translate as well into English. "Difficulty" is the obvious cognate, but in AE, people usually say "trouble" - "they are often in trouble". So, although there is a cognate, there is a good reason to use a different word (which is suggested in the hover hints: trouble).
Of course "in trouble" has a different connotation from "in difficulty". You can be "in trouble" with your mother for taking a taste of the cake she baked for after church on Sunday, but that's not a "difficult situation" - unless the usual punishment is to hang you by your thumbs for an hour or so. Then you're "in difficulty".
If the context is real difficulty, such as having to ride over the waterfall to escape the bad people chasing you, then you're not just in trouble, you're in difficulty. You do stuff like that a lot, then you're "spesso in difficoltà".
I grew up on a farm where we kids did a lot of really dangerous stuff with absolutely no adult supervision, so sometimes I was "in difficulty" but not "in trouble". It's actually somewhat surprising I survived my childhood, but we were lucky. And we had access to medical care, in case something didn't go quite right.
While its probably grammatically correct, I can't think of a single English use for 'they are often in difficulty.'
- They often find it difficult
- They are often difficult to do
- They are often in difficult situations
In Italian, are we saying here that the object is often struggling to do something, by being 'spesso in difficoltà' ?