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I have read a number of constructions such as моей жене скучно слушать музыку and вам трудно понимать русскую прессу? They all seem to have the form dative adverb infinitive. Are there only certain infinitives which can have this construction e.g. смотреть, говорить, читать

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No, any infinitive can accept object in Dative just like the English construction

It's + adverb + for me + infinitive

The construction just means that doing something for you (or anyone denoted by a (pro)noun in Dative) has the quality expressed by the adverb. E.g.

It's hard for me to agree - Мне тяжело согласиться
It's embarrassing for them to admit - Им стыдно признаться
It's too late for him to change - Ему слишком поздно меняться

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  • Instead of вам трудно понимать русскую прессу? could you write Вы трудно понимаете русскую прессу? Which is the more common way?
    – Bob Daley
    May 12 '19 at 15:10
  • @Bob Daley as a question the 1st variant is the idiomatic one, the 2nd one rephrased as Вы с трудом понимаете русскую прессу sounds much more natural as a positive statement, however yet more appropriate phrasing for a question would be Трудно ли вам понимать русскую прессу? because thanks to the particle ли you don't need to apply intonation too much to make it sound like a question May 12 '19 at 16:55

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