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I've just returned from an English exam and there was a sentence that made me wonder (I'm not exactly sure about the wording). The sentence ran like this :

Overheating can stop the equipment FUNCTION/TO FUNCTION/FROM FUNCTIONING/FUNCTIONING

Which is the correct one and why? Thank you.

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@Robusto: I hate this proposal SO much. It's like opening a stackoverflow for beginners. Not fair, really. :( –  Armen Ծիրունյան Jul 4 '12 at 22:37
    
@ArmenTsirunyan: Well, perhaps we need a stackoverflow for beginners. –  Robusto Jul 4 '12 at 23:12
    
@Robusto: I don't think we do. It's fine as it is, the stackoverflow Q&A, as is this ELU Q&A. –  Armen Ծիրունյան Jul 4 '12 at 23:14

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The correct answer is from functioning.

The overheating can stop the equipment from functioning.

"To stop something from doing something" means "to prevent" or "to restrain" (see meaning 6 in this dictionary entry).

If the equipment were the subject, you wouldn't need from, and the word stop would mean cease

The equipment may stop from functioning from overheating.

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That link allows "... from functioning" but does not seem to rule out "Overheating can stop the equipment functioning" (see sense 7). –  jwpat7 Jul 4 '12 at 18:45

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