The sentence is a sample one in a dictionary:

Jane took the bit between her teeth and now there's no stopping her.

I can figure out the meaning. But what's the structure?

How about "there's no stopping in her"?

I add a related question:

What's the difference between "there's nothing to stop her" and "there's no stopping her"?

  • 1
    As for the meaning, look here: macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/… I guess, no stopping in her would literally mean that inside her there is no stopping. I'm not sure what that would mean. If you stop somebody, you stop them, not in them. Does that make sense to you? Apr 19, 2018 at 9:45
  • The link you gave saves most of problem. At first I did think "there's no stopping in her", but I now know I made a mistake. Then what's the difference between "there's nothing to stop her" and "there's no stopping her"?
    – Zhang Jian
    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:44
  • 1
    There's nothing to stop her (she is stoppable, but the obstacle is not there). There's no stopping her (she is unstoppable, no matter what sort of obstacle is in her way). Apr 19, 2018 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


The grammar is just SVC [There] (a dummy subject), [is] (verb), [no stopping her] (noun phrase complement to the subject, a gerund with its object (stopping her))

Compare "There is no water". Or "There is smoking allowed".

As for meaning, it can be glossed as "She can't be stopped".

As for "There is nothing to stop her". That doesn't mean "She can't be stopped". It means "there are no obstacles". It is also used rather differently:

As system administrator there is nothing to stop you from deleting key system files. So remember to think carefully before pressing enter.

Once she had reached college, there was no stopping her. She studied every day, set up a business after graduation, and by 25 she was a multi-millionaire.

  • What's the difference between "there's nothing to stop her" and "there's no stopping her"?
    – Zhang Jian
    Apr 19, 2018 at 12:41

Many expressions follow that pattern.

There's no stopping her.

There's no fixing it.

There's no saving it.

There was no reaching them in time.

There is no getting around the fact.

There' is no getting out of that requirement.

The noun phrase following no involves a gerund, which carries with it the sense of action of the verb from which the gerund is derived, so we can paraphrase these expressions as follows:

Doing the action expressed by {noun phrase} is simply not possible.

There is no "do-er" involved. The thing on its face is (or was) impossible. Nobody could do it. Nobody could have done it, if the expression is cast in a past tense. Everyone would find it impossible.

  • Thank you. By the way, I learn a new phrase "on its face" from your answer. Um, after googling it, it seems to me that there's no "on their faces", i.e. even when referring to plurals, the phase is still "on it face". Am I right?
    – Zhang Jian
    Apr 20, 2018 at 2:57
  • 1
    on its face applies to a thing that falls into the category of situation or matter or task, a complex whose "gestalt" is observed and assessed. its face refers to that gestalt. For that reason, we wouldn't use it with the plural. Apr 20, 2018 at 9:58

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