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Examples I have seen are

例文を作りにくいです。

なぜ大人になると友達を作りにくいのか?

I thought にくい transforms verbs into a イ形容詞.

1 Answer 1

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にくい can transform both verbs and verb phrases into difficult to ....

  • 例文を作りにくい = (例文を作る) + にくい : It is difficult to make sample sentences.
  • 友達を作りにくい = (友達を作る) + にくい : It is difficult to make friends.

Here is used because 友達 is an object of the predicate 作る, and にくい makes the whole verb phrases into adjectives.

What you had in mind were probably

  • 例文は作りにくい = 例文は + (作る + にくい) : Sample sentences are difficult to make.
  • 友達は作りにくい = 友達は + (作る + にくい) : Friends are difficult to make.

which are also valid (also が instead of は is possible). Here は(が) is used because they are subjects of the sentences.

There is not much difference. The former describes a property of action (making sentences or friends) and the latter a property of sentences or friends in terms of making.

Additional comment

Usages of は/を/が above are not totally interchangeable, but it should require another question.

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  • A particle is defined by the verb.作る is a transitive verb dictionary.goo.ne.jp/word/%E4%BD%9C%E3%82%8B all of the examples indicate usage of particle を. Suffix にくい identifies spesific context, this is why particle は usually follows the verb spesific particle, but in this situatton the original particle falls out and only は remains. I don't see how が can be used with 作る, unless it is the potential form: 作れにくい?
    – user1602
    Aug 19, 2021 at 21:00
  • @user1602 が is used with 「verbにくい」「verbづらい」"difficult to~" as well as 「verbやすい」"easy to~", eg 「字が読みにくい」「字が読みづらい」「フランス料理が作りやすい
    – Chocolate
    Aug 20, 2021 at 9:22
  • @user1602 I added lines. Hopefully they clarify.
    – sundowner
    Aug 20, 2021 at 9:32
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    友達が作りにくい is as grammatical as 自然が美しい. 作りにくい works just as an adjective. I mean 'to establish friendship with others' by 'to make friends.' If 'Friends are difficult to make' sounds strange, then you have to translate it in other ways, but it is just another matter. The point is that 友達が作りにくい describes a general statement about 'friends', and saying they are hard to get.
    – sundowner
    Aug 21, 2021 at 23:37
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    I was thinking about this for a while and realized that all complex verbs have a duality in terms of particle usage. 作る requires を as a transitive verb, and 難い requires が as the stative predicate. So both を and が are grammatically correct with 作りにくい.
    – user1602
    Oct 12, 2021 at 8:53

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