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Tip of the Week: Is it “abstain from” or “abstain in”?

abstain, abstain from, abstain in, abstain on

“Abstain” is normally followed by the preposition “from” when it means to give something up or not to indulge in something.

  • Since making her New Year’s resolution, she has completely abstained from smoking.
  • As a strict vegan, Sandeep abstained from consuming meat, eggs and milk.

“Abstain in” and “abstain on” are used infrequently and are found mainly in the context of voting and politics or judicial matters. In these cases, the verb “abstain” means to refrain from exercising a right to vote.

  • To show their complete opposition to the changes, they abstained in the final vote.
  • France abstained on the landmines treaty resolution.

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