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Don't tell me what they said about me. Tell me why they are comfortable telling you

This sentence is taken from "a quote".
I am so confused with the usage of "comfortable+v-ing".
My opinion is that it ommits the preposition "with".

Does it mean

They are comfortable (with) telling you.

or

They are comfortable when they tell you about gossip about me?

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    The former is correct: they don't mind, they don't feel bad, they have no remorse.
    – MorganFR
    Dec 7, 2016 at 10:42
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    Your first suggestion is correct. The sentence entails that they are comfortable about telling you something about yourself, and asks why that entailment is true. The clause "telling you" is complement of the adjective "comfortable"; it identifies what it is they are comfortable about.
    – BillJ
    Dec 7, 2016 at 10:52

2 Answers 2

1

They are comfortable telling you...

would usually be understood to mean

They are comfortable (with) telling you...

To mean

They are comfortable when they tell you...

one might say

They comfortably told you...
They told you in comfort... (this is exactly what you mean, but is a bit odd)

Both phrases could be interchangeable, so context is key.

1

Tell me why they are comfortable telling you.

The sentence is grammatical. You can use comfortable + the -ing form of a verb instead of the structure comfortable + with + -ing form that's is less common.

Look at a couple of examples as follows:

Are you comfortable sitting there? (The Free Dictionary)

He is most comfortable working outdoors. (Webster).

I think you can use "with" in front of these -ing forms, without any difference in meaning, but the use of the with sounds unncessary.

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