Is it correct to say "People resist to learn new things."? By saying so, I intend to convey that most of us are not willing to learn new things. Also, which one of the following do you think is better.

  1. People resist to learn new things.
  2. People offer resistance to learning new things.
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    I don't know if “resist” is the right word here, but if I had to use this word, I'd say something like “People resist learning new things.” – Mr Lister Oct 7 '12 at 6:21
  • Anyway, I'm sure there is a better word, but I can't think of any right now. Something that means “have an aversion against‏”. – Mr Lister Oct 7 '12 at 6:25
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    Compare: "People resist learning new things" – Dan D. Oct 7 '12 at 7:27

Resist is fine.

Other than grammatical/ semantic issues in the sentence, the idea that people resist change itself is an established one and you are on firm ground. See: 1.Wiki: Change Management 2.Google 3.UWisconsin

Note that it would be learning, not to learn:

People resist learning new things. -- sounds good.
People offer resistance to learning new things.


You could use the word in question if you meant they were opposed to learning, which is not the case I believe. I think the word you are looking for is more like reluctant or unwilling.

People are reluctant to learn new things.

They are usually reluctant to try new things.

They are unwilling to take part in the election.

You could use resist in a context like the following:

They will continue to resist changes to the treaty, etc, etc.

  • You seem to have answered the question "Is resist the correct word for this", where I understood the question more to mean "Is this correct and acceptable usage". The wording is a little ambiguous, so either of us could be right. – itsbruce Oct 7 '12 at 10:50
  • @itsbruce: "By saying so, I intend to convey that most of us are not willing to learn new things." – Noah Oct 7 '12 at 10:54
  • Yes, so you offered what you consider a better term. I'm saying that may not be a direct answer to the question (setting aside the fact that I'd be willing to debate your initial contention ;) ) – itsbruce Oct 7 '12 at 11:00

Aside from the matter of using learning rather than to learn, both are fine. I'd say that offering resistance has overtones of civil unrest or mass protest, which might make it more suitable for an ironic tone and less generally applicable than the simple use of the verb in your first example.

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