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I was reading an article written by a Native Speaker when I came across a statement like: The word can be difficult to clearly define and hence count. I do know that this had been paraphrased from another researcher's work. I, however, am having a difficult time justifying the active use of the verbs define and count. I surmise they have to be replaced by passive-voice ones. Please help. Best, Farhad

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    Words like difficult and hard and easy refer to the effort of the unmentioned agent. "The word can be difficult {for someone} to define clearly". {Someone, everyone} finds it difficult to define the word clearly. Thus, we would not say "It is difficult to be defined". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 5 '17 at 14:02
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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tough_movement The unmentioned agent is the logical (i.e. not the grammatical) subject, making the grammatical subject ("the word") the logical object. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 5 '17 at 14:09
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It sounds fine to me as a native speaker. Each verb is in the infinitive form. (Some pedants will say that an infinitive shouldn't be "split," meaning that you shouldn't put words between "to" and the verb form. Maybe that's what's confusing you here. Maybe this will clarify it:

The word can be difficult to clearly define and hence count.

to

The word can be difficult to define and count.

to

The word can be difficult to define and to count.

This is what the sentence means at its core. (Although I'm not sure what it means to "count" a word. Maybe that's clearer from the context.)

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