I want to say that "A" is not interested in a given thing "B".

I want to start my phrase with "There is no interest". I am forcing this limitation because I have no problems in saying it in the direct order (A is not interested in B).

To clarify possible misunderstandings: The one who shows no interest, who "doesn't care", is "A". The thing that is "put aside", "ignored", is B.

I am looking for something in the lines of:

  • (Ordering I) There is no interest (from/by/of) A (in/for) B.
  • (Ordering II) There is no interest (in/for) B (from/by/of) A.

1. What is the best / preferable / most common choice of prepositions?

2. What is the preferable / most common / most natural sentence ordering, among the two given above?

3. If the placeholders "A" and "B" are big sentences, is there a better choice to avoid misunderstandings? For example, if A = "the students that failed the test yesterday" and B = "studying math for the next couple of weeks".

Note: I know that this question on ELL.SE explains that the preposition "in" should be used. But (1) this only covers a part of my question and (2) somehow, especially because of this particular sentence order, I have a feeling that "for" also fits, and the linked question doesn't mention "for". For these reasons, I believe this is not a duplicate.


As @stangdon pointed out, and I actually agree, this way to construct the phrase might seem awkward and unnatural. A more natural construction, equivalent for my question, would be:

  • I am impressed by the lack of interest (from/by/of) A in B.

  • I am impressed by the lack of interest (from/by/of) the students that failed the test yesterday in studying math for the next couple of weeks.

The word "among" was suggested, but it fails if A is not a group of people, but a single person:

  • I am impressed by the lack of interest (from/by/of) Hannah in going to the party.
  • 1
    I personally wouldn't use either of those phrasings. They're not wrong, exactly, but the more natural way to say it would be "A has no interest in B."
    – stangdon
    May 2 '16 at 20:54
  • @stangdon I agree, but I am actually translating something to english and would like to maintain the structure if possible. Besides that, I have always wondered about this specific structure anyway :)
    – Pedro A
    May 2 '16 at 21:03

The preposition most suitable here is among. But I agree with @stangdon that it's an awkward way of stating the idea.

There is no interest among the flat-earthers in hearing any fact that might contradict their worldview.

  • 1
    I think from/among could be used, depending on the context (and they have slightly different meanings). For example "There is no interest from Hannah in going to the party" (obviously there is no group to be "among"). I read the difference in "There is no interest among/from the flat-earthers..." as among means not one individual in the group has interest, vs from means they as a cohesive whole have no interest.
    – Sarah
    May 3 '16 at 14:54
  • 1
    The difference might be more obvious if you say "There is interest among/from the group". Among = some people may be interested, from = the group as a unit is interested. Regardless I wouldn't use of or by
    – Sarah
    May 3 '16 at 14:56
  • Interest is an interesting word. If a person shows interest, can we really say that there has been interest from them? The word interest is analogous to the word envy. "They envy their neighbors' Tupperware." There has been envy from them in their neighbors' Tupperware? I think not. May 3 '16 at 16:45
  • I like "among" for the situation where part of the group shows no interest, thank you very much for this input! But I agree with @Sarah that "among" is not suitable for a single person, such as Hannah. What would you suggest for that situation, @TRomano? Also, you did not mention the sentence ordering, can you improve your answer with your view on that matter as well?
    – Pedro A
    May 5 '16 at 0:39

Let's try some options...

With your preferred order and provided example, I could say

There is no interest for the students that failed the test yesterday in studying math for the next couple of weeks.


There is no interest in studying math for the next couple of weeks for the students that failed the test yesterday.

Even if they are grammatically correct, I think both phrasings are somewhat awkward. These are long statements, and (especially with the second) I feel that the intent and relevance are not clear until I read to the very end of the sentence; they start with a negative assertion (no interest) and state the addressees only later, or much later.

Varying a bit, I think the following would be somewhat better:

For the students that failed the test yesterday, there is no interest in studying math for the next couple of weeks. [First, draw the attention of the relevant people!]

Diverging even further:

For the students that failed the test yesterday, studying math for the next couple of weeks is not interesting. [The emphasis is on the last part of the sentence!]

  • Thank you for the answer, it helped to understand the differences in the sentence ordering. Please see my edit though (my fault for not being clear enough when I asked) - your suggested variations don't work in the new example sentences I presented.
    – Pedro A
    May 5 '16 at 0:50
  • In your edit your included two sentences that use "of" (person) "in" (topic). This phrasing is good. Apparently, the choice of "of" vs. "for" depends on the structure of the sentence. May 5 '16 at 5:05

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