abstain from wine

< Previous | Next >

Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

My friend asked me to go out and have a cup of drink, I said:

I am abstaining from wine.

I wonder if the bold is used correctly.

Thanks a lot
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's correct, but very formal, and possibly bordering on pretentious.

    Have you given up drinking wine altogether, or just taking a break from it? Is it only wine?


    ('Cup of drink' sounds odd, but maybe wine is served in cups in China?)
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    It's correct, but very formal, and possibly bordering on pretentious.

    Have you given up drinking wine altogether, or just taking a break from it? Is it only wine?


    ('Cup of drink' sounds odd, but maybe wine is served in cups in China?)
    I gave up drinking all the alcoholic beverage.

    It is served in a bottle and we pour it into a cup and drink. :)
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    OK. Thanks.

    More natural, then, would be something like 'No thanks, I've given up drinking.'


    (I don't drink alcohol either, but I might still go out for a drink with friends, and happily just drink orange juice :))
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    My wife is allergic to alcohol, and she usually says, 'I'm teetotal'. That's probably a less usual expression these days. Informally, people often just say, 'I don't drink' (with 'alcohol' being understood).

    'Abstain' sounds like something temporary. People might say things like, 'I'm giving up alcohol for Lent'.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    If you want to use "abstain", it is more normal to say "I am abstaining from alcohol." It would be odd (for example) to abstain from wine, but drink vodka or other kinds of alcohol.

    I agree that "I don't drink." is the most common phrase in AE and BE. so say that if your friend is fluent in English. If your friend is not fluent, then "I don't drink alchoholic." is clearer.

    I've found when I "go out for a drink" with club members after our meeting (1 or 2 drinks and talk), no-one notices that some of us don't get an alcoholic drink. But it might be more noticeable in a place where everyone drinks wine. And if people are "going out drinking" (many drinks, getting intoxicated together) you don't go with them if you don't drink.

    There seem to be many different customs about drinking alcohol with friends and co-workers, and I'm sure the customs are different in each country. They may be different in each city.
     

    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    At least in AmE, the continuous form (in "-ing") suggests an activity taking place at the moment.

    "I don't drink coffee" = I never drink coffee.

    "I'm not drinking coffee" = I currently do not drink coffee, e.g. because I have a stomach ache.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    In BE, we commonly just say "I don't drink" which is automatically taken to mean not drinking alcohol.

    The word "abstain" makes it sound more than just a little pompous and self-righteous. :eek:
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top