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Language tip of the week: prevent

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.

This week’s language tip helps with using the verb prevent:

The verb prevent is never followed by an infinitive. Use the patterns prevent someone/something doing something or prevent someone/something from doing something:
✗ They tried to prevent me to leave.
✓ They tried to prevent me leaving.
✓ They tried to prevent me from leaving.
✗ Rubber seals are fitted to prevent gas to escape.
✓ Rubber seals are fitted to prevent gas from escaping.

Prevent can also be used with a direct object:
The main task of the police is to detect and prevent crime.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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