11 Ways to Say Difficult

Hello English learners. Welcome to a new lesson. We are going to learn some new vocabulary, or other ways to say difficult.Here is the list:

  1. Arduous
  2. Challenging
  3. Demanding
  4. Hard
  5. Daunting
  6. Tough
  7. Onerous
  8. Rough
  9. Easier said than done
  10. Full of twists and turns
  11. Full of hardships
Ways to say difficult
Ways to say difficult

The English teachers at My Lingua Academy are happy to help you improve your English. You can attend our online individual and group private lessons or learn English for free with our blog posts where you will find loads of grammar and vocabulary lessons, as well as exercises and quizzes. 


If something such as a task is arduous, it involves a lot of time, energy and effort to be done. You will often hear that a trip or a journey is arduous.

  • Fiona undertook the arduous task of restoring an old house.
  • We set off on an arduous journey across Europe.


When we say that, for example, our job is challenging, we mean that it is difficult in an interesting or enjoyable way that also tests our abilities.

  • Teaching disabled people is a challenging but rewarding job.
  • Cycling in that forest is challenging even for experienced cyclists and requires lots of effort.


If your job is demanding, you need a lot of skill, energy and effort to do it.

  • Gemma’s demanding career didn’t leave her much space for family and friends.
  • Being a doctor is a challenging and demanding job.


Something hard is difficult and requires a lot of effort and energy.

  • Living in the city is very hard these days, especially since the prices have gone up.
  • I’m sure life is very hard for Jill – bringing up a child by herself.
Ways to say difficult
Ways to say difficult


If something is daunting, it is difficult and scary in a way that makes you question your abilities and makes you less confident.

  • Sally had a daunting job of tidying, cleaning and cooking for 10-20 people in that hotel. 
  • Working on the project was a daunting task because there was too much to learn.


If we say that something is tough we mean that it is difficult to do or to deal with.

  • Sandra had a tough childhood – her parents died when she was six so her grandmother brought her up.
  • Living in a foreign country without any friends and family must be really tough for you.


If something is onerous it is difficult and it can cause a lot of problems or worry.

  • Paul found that the onerous conditions in the contract were practically impossible to be fulfilled.
  • The onerous task of protecting his family over the war years made Paul grow old in a very short time.
Ways to say difficult
Ways to say difficult


Something rough is difficult and unpleasant.

  • George had a rough time spending a few months in the mountains with the expedition.
  • The first year at college was rough but as soon as I passed my exams everything else was a breeze.

Easier said than done

If we say that something is easier said than done, we mean that it is very difficult.

  • I liked living in London but finding an affordable flat was easier said than done.
  • Peter wanted to ask Laura out but it was easier said than done because she was always with her friends.

Full of twists and turns

When something is full of twists and turns it is difficult to cope with.

  • Mel’s life was full of twists and turns ever since she got sacked.

Full of hardships

When something is very difficult we can say that it is full of hardships.

  • John’s job as a police inspector was full of hardships.

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Ways to say DIFFICULT
Ways to say DIFFICULT

My Lingua Academy

My Lingua Academy is an online school of English language. We give one-on-one lessons to students of English of all ages and all levels of knowledge all around the world. With us you can prepare for written assignments and exams, attend a general or business English course, or have conversation classes with qualified English teachers who have years of experience.


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