I wonder if “hinder” can be used to describe a situation where “we prevent something bad from happening”.

For example,

Put on this jacket, and it will hinder you from catching a cold”.

Does this sentence above sound awkward? Or grammatically incorrect?


This is the wrong usage. 'Hinder' means to make it more difficult to reach a goal, and catching a cold is (presumably) not a goal.

If this were in a story where someone wanted to catch a cold, someone might say "Then don't put on a jacket, as it would hinder you catching a cold."

(Actually, I've read getting cold outside in the winter does not make catching a cold more likely, but I'm not sure I believe it, and it is a generally held belief.)

| improve this answer | |

Thank you for your answer. I have another question. Some dictionary lists an example of hinder as in “to hinder a man from commiting a crime”. In this case, committing a crime is the man’s goal so this sentence makes sense?

Wearing a mask hinders you from suffering from covid-19. This sentence doesn’t make sense, either. Right?

| improve this answer | |
  • Hindering a man [from] committing a crime is fine -- I think 'from' is commonly used, and is grammatically correct, but is not strictly necessary. "Wearing a mask hinders you from suffering from covid-19" is grammatically correct, but in fact is wrong on two other counts: it mostly protects people from the wearer, i.e., from having the wearer dispense moisture from his/her mouth and nose that might carry the virus; also, it protects against people catching the virus, not so much suffering from it. Also, suffering covid-19 is an unlikely goal; maybe that's why you thought it wrong. – rcook Jul 26 at 2:48
  • Hi Sam, If you have another question, please create another question or edit this one, rather than adding the new question as an answer. – JavaLatte Jul 26 at 4:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.