I've found on StackOverflow an old answer written by me, in which I've used the first form.

Reading it now, it sounds weird and wrong;

I am inclined to think that the second form is the only one correct,
but googling "preventing it to" and "preventing it from" there are 300.000+ results for the first and 700.000+ results for the second!

The 300k+ results for the first form seem way too much for a completely wrong form, hence I've decided to ask here.

EDIT: The original sentence is:

Add white-space: nowrap; to your .layout style declaration.

This will do exactly what you need, preventing divs to wrap.

  • Please include the whole sentence.
    – Tushar Raj
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:29
  • 3
    Preventing NP to VP is ungrammatical. Prevent takes a gerund complement following from; it doesn't take an infinitive complement. Jun 4, 2015 at 14:41
  • 1
    @JohnLawler: You're right. I wasn't thinking about prevent specifically.
    – Tushar Raj
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:44
  • @JohnLawler: Would it be rude if I asked you to take a look at this question? Nobody provided a satisfactory answer.
    – Tushar Raj
    Jun 4, 2015 at 14:46
  • 1
    @JohnLawler as suspected, thanks. I'm not in an English-speaking country, and my writing "skills" are more instinct than grammar knowledge. Well, at least I'm happy because after a bit of practice answering on StackOverflow, my mind rings alarm bells that it didn't two years ago... Feel free to turn your comment into an answer. Jun 4, 2015 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


but googling "preventing it to" and "preventing it from" there are 300.000+ results for the first and 700.000+ results for the second!

Googling is notoriously inaccurate as a way of gauging relative frequency and correctness. A better method is to use Google ngram.

This is because it uses published work. You can expect the grammar to be be much better than the average internet post.

Google ngram: preventing it to,preventing it from

If you examine the graph you will see that 'preventing it from' is far more frequent than 'preventing it to.'

If you then click on the links at the bottom of that page you will find that many (if not all) of the examples have a grammatical reason for the alternative word order.

If you want to check the variants that have other pronouns, you can do the following:

Googel ngram: preventing * to,preventing * from


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