Amy and Brad struggle as they face her birthday.

Does this mean "Amy and Brad struggle with each other" or "Amy experiences difficulty. Brad experiences difficulty"?

I know the meaning of "struggle", but it's not clearly stated whether struggle could mean "struggle with each other" when used in "A and B struggle" form.

  • 2
    You recently deleted six questions very similar to this one. Do not ask questions on ELL if you intend to delete them.
    – J.R.
    Oct 18, 2019 at 20:14
  • 3
    It could mean either one. Your sentence title says "in this context," but there is not enough context to know what it means for sure.
    – J.R.
    Oct 18, 2019 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


It is not certain. Greater context might make it clearer. The only obvious meaning is that both struggle, but there is nothing to suggest from this sentence alone that they are struggling against each other. In fact (absent context), the inference is that they are not contending because that would presumably be something important enough not to leave shrouded in ambiguity.

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