Sometimes I want to tell someone stop from doing something, can I just say:

I want to get Jack rid from smoking.

  • Are you asking about "get Jack rid from smoking" or "get Jack rid of smoking"? – Matt E. Эллен Dec 29 '13 at 13:49
  • I would say you would "rid Jack of" something. Henry II of England is said to have complained to his courtiers, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Whereupon his men took the hint and slaughtered Thomas Becket. – Robusto Dec 29 '13 at 14:08
  • Relevant (possible dupe): english.stackexchange.com/q/67593/8019 – Tim Lymington supports Monica Dec 29 '13 at 14:21
  • 2
    Something I just learned from Dictionary.com: Origin of "rid": 1150–1200; Middle English, ridden (v.), Old English ge ryddan, to clear (land). Put "ge" and "ryddan" together and you have "Good riddance." I want Jack to say "Good riddance to his smoking habit." – rhetorician Dec 29 '13 at 15:42

For one, you get rid of something, not from it.

For another, it appears to me you get rid of something you have, or even own. Not of something you do. So Jack can get rid of his bad habit, perhaps, but telling him to get rid of smoking sounds like a poorly translated from German invitation to undress.

  • +1 for the invitation to undress (which, incidentally, does not work only in German, but also in the Scandinavian languages). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 29 '13 at 16:26

Jack cannot rid himself of smoking, because smoking is an activity rather than a thing.

But luckily, he may be able to rid himself of cigarettes; or even rid himself of that beastly habit altogether.

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