9

I found a following sentence in this link:

"Does the Reaction of Abstaining Smokers to the Smell of Other People's Cigarettes Predict Relapse?"

Shouldn't it be "abstaining from" instead of "abstaining to", which means "to keep oneself from doing, engaging in, or partaking of something; refrain"? Thank you!

  • 31
    You're misreading it. It's "reaction to the smell". – Hot Licks May 1 at 13:01
  • I think this is called a "deverbal adjective" – wjandrea May 2 at 16:02
  • 'Abstain from' but here abstain is being attached like an adjective to 'smoker', I don't know what the technical term for that would be but I assume there is one. – Tom May 3 at 15:17
52

In this instance, "abstaining" is an adjective - someone who currently abstains (specifically, from smoking).

We can rewrite the sentence like this:

Does the reaction of [people abstaining from smoking] to [the smell of other people's cigarettes] predict relapse?

So [people abstaining from smoking] react to [the smell of other people's cigarettes]

You "abstain" from something, but you "react" to something.

| improve this answer | |
19

Yes, abstain takes from, but that's not the way to parse this sentence.

This sentence is talking about the reaction of "abstaining smokers", and that reaction is their reaction to others' smoke.

You could say "Does the reaction of Andrew to the smell...", or rephrase the sentence as "Does abstaining smokers' reaction to..."

| improve this answer | |
2

REACTION TO (SOMETHING) Here, the noun 'reaction' takes the preposition 'to' after it.

ABSTAINING SMOKERS = PEOPLE ABSTAINING FROM SMOKING. Here, 'abstaining' is the present participle adjective, premodifying the noun "smoker".

So, the sentence is grammatically correct.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.