are they the same?

  1. "The brain is difficult to remember new words"

  2. "it's difficult for the brain to remember new words"

  3. "the brain find it difficult to remember new words"

I think the 2nd one is the best, the 1st one seems the worst, the 3rd seems weird


You are right: sentence 2 is the only one that gives the correct meaning.

Here is a definition of difficult: the intended meaning is needing skill or effort. What needs skill or effort is the thing that's being done (remembering new words), not the agent (the brain). This is simple to use when the thing that's being done is a simple noun like an exam:

The exam is difficult

When we want to talk about a difficult activity, we use one of these forms:

It is difficult to...
It is difficult ....-ing

We can add a for clause to specify the agent (who or what is having difficulty). Alternatively we can make it the subject of the sentence as in sentence 3, using one of these forms:

John finds it difficult to...
John has difficulty in...

The finds it difficult version is not really satisfactory for the brain, because find in this context means to discover or have an opinion: a person can do this, but the brain cannot. The has difficulty in version would work:

The brain has difficulty in remembering new words.

If we make the agent the subject as in sentence (1), the meaning needing skill or effort is not appropriate. It would be OK with a different meaning- not friendly, not easy to deal with, not behaving well, but this is definitely not the intended meaning.


Number 2 is acceptable.

Number 1 doesn't mean the same. You could say "New words are difficult for the brain to remember". In this case, the difficult thing is the words.

Number 3 contains a minor grammar error. It should be "The brain finds it difficult to remember new words." ('s' on end of find). Apart from that, number 3 is not weird. You should also check your use of capital letters.

The difference is the choice of grammatical subject: number 1 (corrected) uses "New words" for the subject, number 3 uses "The brain", and number2 uses a dummy pronoun "It". This changes the nuance slightly.

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