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In a gerund and infinitive exercise, there is the following conversation:

Annie: My parents finally bought me a new TV, but it has a V-chip.

Bea: What's that?

Annie: It's something that blocks violent shows so that I can't watch them.

Summary: A V-chip interferes with Annie's watching violent shows.

Having studied English for a long time, I find the usage of the verb interfere in this context to be cringe worthy and unheard of. I want to know if I am wrong and if I could use the verb "interfere" in such context.

I have looked it up in many dictionaries, there is no sentence example or a sense that I found that the word interfere could come in such context. It could be used such as in these sentences:

Smoking and drinking alcohol interferes with your body's ability to process oxygen.

Anxiety interferes with children's performance at school.

  • Have you looked up interfere in a dictionary? I think you will find that this sense, "obstruct, hinder", is the word's central meaning. You may be misled by the non-central use of interfere in BrE as a euphemism for sexual assault. – StoneyB Nov 6 '16 at 23:28
  • There is nothing wrong with interfere in that sentence. The Saxon genitive with the gerund is pretty gnarly, though. What is it that makes you think interfere is wrong here? – P. E. Dant Nov 6 '16 at 23:28
  • @StoneyB, I did. I edited my question. – Ghaith Alrestom Nov 6 '16 at 23:35
  • In both of the uses you cite something interferes with somebody--your body, children--doing something. The only difference is that in your questioned sentence watching is a gerund (a verbform which acts as a noun), not a frank noun. – StoneyB Nov 6 '16 at 23:48
  • But when the word interfere comes in that sense, it almost always comes with a noun, not a gerund. That's why I said it sounds awkward. I have never listened or read the word interfere to be used when a gerund comes after. I want to know how common or used this use of gerund after the word interfere. – Ghaith Alrestom Nov 6 '16 at 23:53
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Interfere implies that the action or goal being interfered with was desired by whoever was doing it, is desirable, or is supposed to happen.

Tommy interfered with my study time (You wanted to study)

Smoking and drinking alcohol interferes with your body's ability to process oxygen (Processing oxygen is desirable)

Anxiety interferes with children's performance at school (We want children to perform well at school)

So this does sound weird:

A V-chip interferes with Annie's watching violent shows.

except that the person saying probably doesn't want Annie to watch violent shows, so in a greater context it's probably OK.

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