Trouble is mainly used as an uncountable noun and
describes problems, worries or difficulties. Trouble can
also be used as a verb. Compare the following:
- I'm having trouble with the printer now. Can you come and
have a look at it?
- I'm a bit deaf and I had trouble hearing what she said as
she spoke very softly.
- Why are you crying? What's troubling you? ~ It troubles me
that I haven't heard from him for five weeks.
- I'm sorry to trouble you, but could you move your car forward
a bit. It's blocking my drive.
In addition to cause, the verbs that the noun
trouble collocate with include the following: put to, take,
go to, save, get into, run into, and be in. These verbs
cannot be used with problem in the same way. Compare the
- I'm sorry to put you to all this trouble ~ It's no trouble
- I'm going to take the trouble to bake my own bread, rather
than buy it from the shop.
- If you buy a dishwasher, it will save you the trouble of
washing your dishes by hand.
- We ran into trouble as soon as we reached the motorway. It
was jammed all the way from Epping to Cambridge.
- I shall get into real / big trouble, if I lend you my brother's
- I was in serious trouble. I had run out of water and was
still ten miles from the nearest oasis.
Note that the expression No trouble! is used in a similar
way to No problem!
- I'm sorry to have kept you waiting for so long ~ That's no
problem / trouble + adjs
Note from the examples above that the adjectives big, real
and serious collocate with both trouble and problems.
Note that fundamental, insoluble and intractable
collocate only with problem:
- A fundamental problem in the design of this car is the transverse
- It was an intractable / insoluble problem. There was no way
out of it.