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Imagine I am trying to connect my smartphone to the net. The problem is that I am sitting in a train and the connection is not working .

What can I say " I am having difficulties to be connected to the net or have difficulties to be connected to the net."

I think the first one is better because it is not working now but should be later. the connection is supposed to work in a train where it is written Wifi .

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    You want the "present continuous": "I am having difficulties connecting to the network." This is a state you are in currently, and it is continuing into the future. The time focus of the sentence is "now".
    – BadZen
    Jul 25, 2023 at 14:44
  • I'd also use singular - 'having difficulty'. Jul 25, 2023 at 16:39
  • "having difficulties" would imply multiple problems, e.g. it took you a long time to connect then you found out you had no data allowance and your battery ran out.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 22 at 9:49
  • have difficulty connecting to the Internet. No to + passive infinitive after "have difficulties"
    – Lambie
    Jan 22 at 15:28

2 Answers 2

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"Difficulty" is followed by a gerund, not an infinitive. But you are correct that you should use the present continuous here:

I am having difficulties connecting to the net.

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As others have commented, you should say "...connecting to the net".

"I have difficulty/difficulties..." suggests that, right now or as a general rule, a personal issue, for example your arthritis, prevents you.

"I have a problem" suggests that, right now or as a general rule, something external prevents you, for example there is no network signal.

"I have problems" suggests that, right now or as a general rule, there are multiple external factors that are preventing you.

"I am having problems" suggests that, over the recent past there are multiple external factors preventing you, or one factor that keeps recurring, and you expect them to continue in the near future.

"I have been having problems" suggests that for some time now, (either continuously, or intermittently) one or more issues have prevented you. For multiple issues, they may have all occurred at once, or maybe different problems on each occasion. If it's not followed by a "but" clause, the listener can assume that you expect the situation to continue for the foreseeable future.

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  • It's very common to use "difficulty" with technical issues, and certainly doesn't imply personal/health issues. "Technical difficulties" is a common phrase for unspecified issues ("having trouble" is another option.)
    – Stuart F
    Jan 22 at 9:52
  • @Stuart F Certainly If you specify "technical difficulties" that's certainly true, but "I am having difficulty...." is a different kettle of fish.
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 22 at 14:00

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