I want to say that something makes something unnecessary. I mean you no longer need to do it. For example if students be allowed to eat in the class they won't need to leave the class so as to eat.
I believe that there should be a verb to this aim. I've mentioned the following sentence to express my aim in more detail.

Allowing the students to eat in the class .... them from leaving the class so as to eat."

(How should I fill the blank?)

I thought of some verbs but I'm pretty sure that they do not fit. [prevent, dismiss, free]

As I searched further, I encountered the verb "rid", does it carry the meaning which I need?

  • @Khan Thanks, "discourage" is really a good verb, however it implicitly mentions my aim. I think there should be an exact verb for this. Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 14:32
  • obviate and preclude can work; if you're willing to change the sentence by a word or two
    – user6951
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 17:45
  • 2
    I think "save" is a simple and appropriate in this context. Per The Free Dictionary, this verb also means "to prevent the occurance, use or necessity of". ....will save leaving of their class......"
    – Khan
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 11:22

6 Answers 6


Chapka's suggestion of moot is a good one, because it doesn't carry any connotation that the speaker prefers either option (eating in the classroom, or leaving the classroom to eat), as OP mentioned in a comment. As far as I can tell, the OP is asking for:

  1. [Action] makes it so that [subject] can do A or B, with no clearly stated preference for either option

rather than

  1. [Action] makes it so that [subject] is more likely to/must/will be inclined to select B over A in the future

Moot does indeed accomplish this; however, since it does require restructuring the sentence a bit, I offer what first popped into my head when I read the sample sentence:

Allowing the students to eat in the classroom prevents them from having to leave the class [so as] to eat.

Note other minor changes: classroom is the place they eat, not the class: you can either say in the classroom or in class (the state of being in class, not an actual physical location), but not in the class, in this case. The "so as" is grammatically acceptable, but not really necessary; it just makes the sentence sound more formal.

Now, as for the actual word suggestion: prevents [noun] from having to. All parts of the construction are required; prevents by itself means that they are no longer able to eat outside the classroom now that they can eat within it (option 2 above, which I believe you are not looking for). To fall in line with option 1, we add from having to, which gives the students free choice.

Before, students could only eat outside the classroom [perform action A].

Now, students have free choice to eat either inside or outside of the classroom [perform action A] or [perform action B].

Allowing them to choose either option prevents them from having to (alternately: makes it so they are no longer required to) [perform action A].

Of course, you do want at least some of the students to eat inside the classroom, or you would have no reason to propose this change in the first place. But you now have a neutral way to express this, without letting your opinion be known.

  • 3
    Welcome back! :-)
    – user230
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 15:16
  • @snail <3. Glad to be back to posting answers! :)
    – WendiKidd
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 19:56

The word that I have seen that most closely meets this usage is not a common one: "obviate." However, because this word is not well known, it runs the risk of being confusing rather than actually helpfully communicating the idea.

  • Obviate has a sense though of anticipating and preventing future difficulties, not just rendering some circumstance unnecessary. I think that it is an interesting option to bring up and I'm not sure why your answer was down voted.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 4:48

The verb that comes closest to what you're asking about is to moot. This is a somewhat archaic verb that can mean either to raise a point for discussion or to render irrelevant (yes, these meanings are more or less antonyms. Sorry--English is like that.)

"Moot" can be used as a verb, but these days, it is more likely to be used as an adjective. So you would rephrase your sentence to something like this:

The students can now eat in the classroom, so the debate about how to handle the trip to the cafeteria is moot.

As for a verb that will fit into the exact structure you propose...I don't think there is one. If you want to use that sentence structure, you will need to use a phrase rather than a single word:

Allowing the students to eat in the class relieves them from the necessity of having to leave the class to eat.

But this is a highly formal construction and would not be a native speaker's first choice. The more idiomatic way of stating this would be something along these lines:

If the students are allowed to eat in the classroom, they won't have to leave the class to eat.

The "if" construction is a more natural way of expressing the dependence relationship here than a verb or verb phrase.

  • +1 for moot is more likely to be used as an adjective.
    – J.R.
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 1:52

I think the verb "save" is an appropriate word that can be used in the sentence presented above.

According to The Free Dictionary, the verb "save" is also used to mean "to prevent the occurrence, use or necessity of". Hence, the sentence may be formed as follows:

"Allowing the students to eat in the classroom will save their going out (leaving the class) to eat". We can also say ".....will save them leaving the class to eat" as per J.R's comments.

  • Great! It sounds perfect. Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 14:22
  • 1
    Cc @mok This isn't quite right. You could grammatically say "Will save them from leaving to eat", but that doesn't sound quite right. The implication is that they're being significantly harmed by eating outside... I'm picturing dinosaurs or alien ray guns pointed at the playground. It's a good word, but it definitely states your intention (and in fact goes far, far past the severity of your stance).
    – WendiKidd
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 19:55
  • @WendiKidd Thanks for pushing me back to the first step (Just kidding). So what's the correct answer? Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 20:15
  • Wendikidd, according to the dictionary, "save" means to prevent the occurance, use or necessity of something (obviate), not someone. That will save the expense and trouble of buying two pairs.
    – Khan
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 22:53
  • 1
    @Wendi - I think "save" works fine (as in, "saves us the time, saves us the trouble," not necessarily "saves us from the aliens"). It's the difference between meanings 1 & 3 in Macmillan.
    – J.R.
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 1:55

A nice simple word here is keeps

Allowing the students to eat in the class keeps them from having to leave the classroom to eat."

From The Free Dictionary:

keep v. tr. 11 c. To prevent or deter: tried to keep the ice from melting.


Either frees or releases are appropriate options in the context you've provided. Absolves is in the ballpark of what you're asking for, but in this case it's not quite right as it carries an overly strong sense of a responsibility or obligation that is no longer necessary, and we wouldn't describe the necessity of students leaving the room to eat their lunch in such strong terms (the reason I mention it is that it may be a superior option in a related but slightly different context).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .