1

I don’t have a hard time believing that anyone could stay mad at you...

What is the meaning behind this statement?

It from a novel I’m reading. One character is having difficulty with family. She is nice person but they refuse to talk to her for reasons. She vents to somebody she like and they care for her and gives her advice, assures her and ends with that sentence above

I’m not sure if there many meanings behind it

5
  • 1
    Hi welcome to ELL! Please tell us where you saw/heard that sentence and give us more context. Questions without context are subject to closure.
    – Eddie Kal
    Mar 13 '21 at 5:33
  • 1
    Hi. Thank you. It from a novel I’m reading. One character is having difficulty with family. She is nice person but they refuse to talk to her for reason. She vent to somebody she like and gives her advice and end with that sentence above
    – Mida
    Mar 13 '21 at 5:42
  • My mistake. It not a question but statement alone
    – Mida
    Mar 13 '21 at 5:43
  • Don't copy and paste the same question twice, it's only going to get closed again. Fix this post. Start by saying what is the title of the novel.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 13 '21 at 6:12
  • 1
    Then say which words you do you understand. For example, do you know what "hard time" means?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 13 '21 at 6:15
0

We start at the very foot of the mountain;

to have a hard time doing sth.

which means that the person in question finds it particularly difficult to do, or get accustomed to the sentence argument that is chosen.

If now we choose the sentence argument to believe,

to have a hard time believing sth.

this simply demonstrates that the person in question ponders the actual truth of something that is given as a statement; leaning on the side of scrutinizing what was being said.

Lastly, topping it of with a negation

I don’t have a hard time believing that anyone could stay mad at you

person X does not find it very hard to believe that any arbitrary person Z could possibly be angry with person Y for an extended period of time. In other words, person X is very positive about the fact that person Y is of such sympathetic nature, that it would lead any person Z to quickly forget about the bad thoughts they had entertained for person Y.

I'd always recommend this train of thought to logically build up a meaning you are looking for (by utilizing a dictionary), until you reach the tip of the ice berg, eventually. A great way to do this is by using the Cambridge Dictionary, which will provide you with basic definitions and sample sentences for the vocabs you seek.

1
  • You have it backwards, Lin. The non negated sentence is I have a hard time believing that anyone could stay mad at you. This is what person X would think of person Z if person Z had a sympathetic nature. The speaker, however, negates that sentence by adding I don't have a hard time. This means the opposite of I have a hard time believing... In other words it means I believe that anyone could stay mad at you.
    – EllieK
    Aug 17 '21 at 17:26
0

I would start by simplifying the sentence by replacing the negative at the start and shorten the rest. You lose some of the subtlety but the overall meaning is clear.

Then

I don’t have a hard time believing that anyone could stay mad at you...

becomes (essentially)

I believe that people can stay mad at you ...

In the context you provide this is said by a friend to someone she cares for but who is hard to get along with. Starting the sentence with

I don’t have a hard time believing

rather than the blunt

I believe

suggests that the speaker does not believe that the person is easy to stay angry with, but that she understands why others might believe that. It's a softer way to help a friend who is sometimes hard to get along with.

1
  • What throws me off is the anyone and stay here - it's one thing to say "I understand why someone could get mad at you", but it seems bizarre to reassure someone by saying, essentially, "you're pissing everyone off and we're all holding a grudge". I have a feeling that this don't doesn't belong there. Mar 14 '21 at 20:48
0

I’d say as it is the sentence crosses the line where you are not sure as a listener how many negations were actually meant, and where as a listener you might misunderstand what is meant.

What it does mean: there is a claim that people stay mad with you. Because I know you, I can believe easily that this claim is true. I can believe that people stay mad with you.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .