1

I am not too sure about the verb "withhold" here:

Generally, there is no fasting requirement prior to a CT scan, unless a contrast dye is to be used. Your doctor will give you special instructions ahead of time if contrast is to be used and if you will need to withhold food and drink.

I already checked dictionaries and found the definitions for "withhold" don't fit the the example usage. Would replacing "you will need to withhold food and drink" with "you will need to withhold food and drink from yourself" be better?

1

The verb "withhold" is both transitive and intransitive. If you withhold food and drink from somebody, it means that you refuse to give food and drink to somebody. Here, it has been used as a transitive verb; it has an object.

When this verb means to refrain, it is used as an intransitive verb; it has no object. So the correct sentence is "you'll need to withhold (or refrain that is common) from food and drink. I don't think the phrase "withhold food and drink from yourself sounds natural. Alternatively, we can also say you will need to deny yourself food and drink).

  • Would "withhold from having food and drink" work? – meatie Oct 25 '14 at 17:10
  • Meatie, I think it's OK. – Khan Oct 26 '14 at 9:08
0

The example is OK. All it is saying is a combination of:

Your doctor will give you special instructions ahead of time if contrast is to be used.

and

Your doctor will give you special instructions ahead of time if you will need to withhold food and drink.

Though logically if the first is true the second one should be, and therefore not needing the second "if". But I don't think that makes it wrong.

  • Would "abstain from taking food and drink" be better than "withhold food and drink"? – meatie Oct 9 '14 at 4:50
  • Would "withhold from having food and drink" work? – meatie Oct 25 '14 at 17:11

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