"C'est très difficile de refuser."
Translation:It is very hard to refuse.
I'm not sure I understand (English is not my native language). Does it mean "It is very difficult to refuse anything to him"? If it does, the French translation would be something along the lines of:
Il est très difficile de lui refuser quoi que ce soit (with il being neutral, as in il y a)
On ne peut rien lui refuser
Maybe you can clarify something. I thought that with an adjective (difficile) the form was always, 'C'est très difficile de lui ... .
I believe both are acceptable when the sentence is an impersonal statement - i.e., "Il est très difficile" - when the "il" does not refer to a person, but the impersonal "it", as in "it is difficult"
I am a native english speaker learning french, but from what I know, to have "he is very difficult to refuse" would be "c'est tres difficile a refuser". 'de' is used for non-objects/subjects 'a' is used for objects/subjects Hope this helps.
I think this sentence should use "à" instead of "de". Whatever it is that it's difficult to refuse, it sounds like we're talking about a real subject (not a "dummy" one). Ideas?
I think it is precisely because it uses de that lets us know that we are talking about a dummy subject. In other words, the sense in the sentence is "it is very hard to say no".
C'est très difficile de refuser (un morceau de gâteau) = it is very difficult to say no (to a piece of cake)
"It's very difficult to refuse" can mean two things in English, and I'm not sure which of them (or both?) is reflected here:
"(That thing) is very difficult to refuse" OR "To refuse (in general) is very difficult" ("it" in this case doesn't refer to anything, really, just serves as a dummy subject)
when do I use "de" and when "à". I now saw difficile + à + infinitive (I think it was resoudre) and difficile + de + infinitive. is there an applicable rule for it? Thanks in advance for the help
If in the impersonal phrase "it is difficult to", the word "it" refers to an actual thing (real subject), then you use à. Like say you were saying that a certain book was hard to read and decided to use "it", then "it is hard to read" would be:
c'est difficile à lire
il est difficile à lire
But suppose "it" was a dummy subject and not referring to anything at all. Like when you say "it is raining", that word "it" is not replacing a noun or anything in particular; it is a dummy subject. So when you say "it is difficult to imagine how she feels" for example, the "it" is not really referring to anything because all that sentence means is that imagining how she feels is hard to do. In that case, you would use de:
il est difficile d'imaginer comment elle se sent
c'est difficile d'imaginer comment elle se sent
Hope that helps.
This is quite confusing. In a previous question 'it is difficult to decrease' I was told the answer was 'C'est difficile à diminuer' and that the use of de in place of à was incorrect unless diminuer was followed by something. Here its been stated that it should be 'de' as it is impersonal. Can anyone clarify please?
Look at it this way "it is difficult to reduce" means "reducing it is difficult" so "it" is not a dummy subject but refers to an actual thing that is hard to reduce.
Compare that with "it is difficult to reduce the temperature in the room because the unit is broken". In this case, "it" is a dummy subject this time because it does not stand for anything. The thing that is difficult to reduce is the temperature.
So if you can rewrite the sentence starting with the -ing version of the verb and using the "it" as the object, then "it" is probably not a dummy subject.
It is difficult to read = reading it is difficult => something in particular is difficult to read = il est difficile à lire
It is difficult to read in low light => reading in low light is hard (Notice we do not need any object "it" this time in this rewritten version because "it" did not stand for anything) = il est difficile de lire en condition de faible luminosité.