[Grammar] suffered a heart attack

Oceanlike

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Singapore
Current Location
Singapore
When is it necessary to use "from"? Is there any difference?

(a) He suffered several heart attacks.
(b) He suffered from several heart attacks.

(a1) He suffered some kind of allergies.
(a2) He suffered from some kind of allergies.
 

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
When is it necessary to use "from"? Is there any difference?

(a) He suffered several heart attacks.

He suffered/experienced/endured several heart attacks.


(b) He suffered from several heart attacks.

Because he had had several heart attacks, he was now suffering.


(a1) He suffered some kind of allergy.

He suffered/endured/lived with/put up with some kind of allergy.


(a2) He suffered from some kind of allergy.

He was suffering because of an allergy.
Some kind is singular, so allergy needs to be singular, too.
 

GoesStation

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
He suffered several heart attacks: he had several heart attacks.

He suffered from several heart attacks: he felt bad as a result of several heart attacks. This is not natural.

Sentences a1 and b1 are not natural. You could say He suffered from several kinds of allergies or, if you want to be specific, He suffered from allergies to ragweed, tree pollen, and dust mites.
 

jutfrank

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
I think that CB and GS have answered very well, so I'll put it in a different way, explaining how I understand this:

Use from when you want to say that something is the cause of suffering. This is especially useful when the cause is considered to be indirect:

He suffers from Crohn's disease.

This means that Crohn's disease can be attributed as the cause of suffering. The suffering may manifest symptomatically in various ways. You can't really experience Crohn's disease directly, only indirectly.

However, we also use from in this causal sense when the meaning is much more direct:

I suffer from migraines.

Here, migraines are the things that are giving me pain. They are at once the direct cause and the experience, Still, there is a sense of indirectness, I think, in that the fact that I get them regularly causes a problem in my life generally.

He suffered a heart attack.

Here, as pointed out in post #2, there is no sense of cause or indirectness. The meaning of suffered in this transitive use is similar to experienced.
 
Top