I had a difficult time getting sleep.

Does the previous sentence mean "Though having a terrible time, I finally got sleep."?

What about another similar phrase, have difficulty doing: does it imply that the action was eventually done?

  • 1
    The adjective difficult and the noun difficulty on their own tell us nothing definite about whether an action was completed. Your example sentence, though, would be understood as implying that the speaker eventually fell asleep ("got to sleep"). The phrase is incomplete: we "get to sleep", we don't "get sleep." Jul 1, 2017 at 23:57
  • @P.E.Dant Thanks for your correction and explanation.
    – Maigebaoer
    Jul 2, 2017 at 2:52

1 Answer 1


If this were phrased:
"I had a difficult time getting to sleep."
"I had a difficult time falling asleep."

It does seem to imply that you finally did fall asleep.

If this were phrased:
"I had a difficult time getting any sleep."

That seems to imply that maybe you didn't really sleep, or else very little.

And the current sentence:
"I had a difficult time getting sleep."

As-is, it could mean that you did not really sleep much. Maybe just a little.

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