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I was about to write in a mail addressed to an important person "I find hard to believe that I'm speaking to you".

I had a doubt though, so I tried looking for it on a search engine.

I thus found out that it has apparently never been used on the web.

I tried also "I find it hard to believe that I'm speaking to you", same result.

I was rather sure that it was correct, but it seems unlikely after these findings.

Can you confirm me if it's incorrect, and if so why and what alternative might I use?

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    "I find it hard to believe that..." is a viable sentence, so is "It's hard to believe that..." or "I can't believe (that)..." or even "I would never have thought I would be..." – MorganFR May 13 '16 at 14:13
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"I find hard to believe that I'm speaking to you". incorrect

"I find it hard to believe that I'm speaking to you". correct

"I can't believe I'm (actually/finally) speaking to you." correct

have opinion/feeling

I find it amazing that they're still together.

find something + noun She finds it a strain to meet new people.

http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/find_1

  • Thanks. As we are at it, could you give me an hint on the grammatical rules that require the "it"? I already noticed that "I find it" is a lot more used than "I find", but I haven't been able to find the reasons yet – user2118 May 13 '16 at 14:38
  • @user2118 No idea. Is it because 'it' is like the object? I can't believe it.(it - I'm finally talking to you). – Cathy Gartaganis May 13 '16 at 14:53
  • How can you write "incorrect" and have no idea why?? Are you sure that it's incorrect? Grammatically the "it" appears redundant, the object is stated explicitly in the rest of the sentence (I'm not sure if it's "hard to believe" or just "to believe") – user2118 May 13 '16 at 15:09
  • @user2118 English is my mother tongue, so I know it's right, but I can't explain it in terms of linguistics. – Cathy Gartaganis May 13 '16 at 15:13
  • @user2118 My answer provides a link. – Cathy Gartaganis May 13 '16 at 16:41
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Cathy's right in that "it" is required.

To add to cathy's answer, I'm not totally sure, but I believe the "it" is required because the verb "find" is transitive(meaning it is a verb that requires an object).

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Without "it", the sentence is incomplete. The first clause, expressing a belief, lacks a direct object describing what is difficult to believe. Isolating that clause (because I believe it functions as an independent clause) looks like:

"I find [] hard to believe"

This has an obvious hole to a native speaker without an additional word, and a dependent clause doesn't help because it won't function as a direct object for "find". "It", as a pronoun, fills this hole and from context refers to the dependent clause as the antecedent.

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