abuse

Thomas1

Senior Member
polszczyzna warszawska
Hi
Could anyone tell me if the sentence 'They abuse alcohol a lot.' is a correct sentence, please??? If not, please explain why.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Thomas
 
  • GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Sure. Sounds great to me. My only quibble, and it is small, is that "a lot" is more conversational. I don't know that "a lot" is even necessary since "abuse" in this context means "use in excessive amounts."

    To "abuse" a drug or alcohol means to overuse it, usually to the point of
    addiction.

    Are you wishing to substitute "a lot" for "often?"
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    GenJen54 said:
    Sure. Sounds great to me. My only quibble, and it is small, is that "a lot" is more conversational. I don't know that "a lot" is even necessary since "abuse" in this context means "use in excessive amounts."

    To "abuse" a drug or alcohol means to overuse it, usually to the point of
    addiction.

    Are you wishing to substitute "a lot" for "often?"
    Gen this is my problem, I wonder if I can use 'a lot' with 'abuse' since I did it and now have to explain if it's a correct use or not, is it wrong to use 'a lot' in this case?? (skipping the matter of colloqual usage of it) since there exists a certain group of people that really overuses alcohol and I thought it would be good to emphasize this fact, that's why I used 'a lot'. What do you think???
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would say this: Its not wrong to say it, but there may be better ways to WRITE it. ;-)

    But really, I dont like the phrase "abusing alcohol". What they're really abusing is themselves, and alcohol is merely the weapon of choice.

    I'd just say either: They drink to much.
    or: They are alcoholics.

    depending on which is more accurate in this case.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    nycphotography said:
    I would say this: Its not wrong to say it, but there may be better ways to WRITE it. ;-)

    But really, I dont like the phrase "abusing alcohol". What they're really abusing is themselves, and alcohol is merely the weapon of choice.

    I'd just say either: They drink to much.
    or: They are alcoholics.

    depending on which is more accurate in this case.
    So what abuot the meaning:
    To use wrongly or improperly; misuse: abuse alcohol; abuse a privilege
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=abuse&r=66
    what's wrong with it???
     

    McGILLette

    New Member
    English
    I think it's just a matter of taste I personally think to abuse is a great verb when talking about drinking alchohol in excess because it's so much more descriptive than just 'they drink too much'.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Abuse just means using something the wrong way, not the way it was intended to be used. Therefore, abuse is appropriate, whether it refers to overuse or not.

    Because a lot is so vague, it is also ok in this sentence because it can refer to frequently

    They abuse alcohol a lot. = They frequently use alcohol the wrong way.
     
    Dear friends!!!

    I would like to ask you if we can use "abuse" in the following sentences:

    "If you abuse bananas you will have problems with your stomach"
    "If you abuse sweets and cakes you will become too fat"

    The intended meaning is to eat something in large amounts so that this may be harmful to you. Is this usage of "abuse" correct?

    Best
     

    Majorbloodnock

    Senior Member
    British English
    Not really, Dmitry. Alcohol is a drug, and all drugs require respect. Abuse suggests a lack of proper respect. Food doesn't really command any respect, so can't really be abused, although some could argue differently.

    If someone is given special privileges (like a school prefect), they might abuse the privilege (i.e. use the power badly).

    If someone insults someone else, they may be said to be verbally abusing that person.

    Does that make some kind of sense? I don't think the idea of whether or not respect is present is an official rule, incidentally.
     
    Not really, Dmitry. Alcohol is a drug, and all drugs require respect. Abuse suggests a lack of proper respect. Food doesn't really command any respect, so can't really be abused, although some could argue differently.

    If someone is given special privileges (like a school prefect), they might abuse the privilege (i.e. use the power badly).

    If someone insults someone else, they may be said to be verbally abusing that person.

    Does that make some kind of sense? I don't think the idea of whether or not respect is present is an official rule, incidentally.
    Thanks!!! OK, what verb should I use with sweets in bananas instead of "abuse"?
     

    Majorbloodnock

    Senior Member
    British English
    Food is as much a pleasure as a fuel, and allowing yourself pleasure is indulging. A common expression in BE for eating too much - particularly unhealthy foods - is overindulging.

    "It was a lovely meal last night, but I'm afraid I overindulged, and I'm suffering a bit this morning."

    Worth noting that when you talk about overindulging, you do not usually define what it is you overindulged on. If you want to specify that, you might be better with the colloquial "overdose", as in "I think I overdosed on bananas; my stomach is complaining".
     
    Food is as much a pleasure as a fuel, and allowing yourself pleasure is indulging. A common expression in BE for eating too much - particularly unhealthy foods - is overindulging.

    "It was a lovely meal last night, but I'm afraid I overindulged, and I'm suffering a bit this morning."

    Worth noting that when you talk about overindulging, you do not usually define what it is you overindulged on. If you want to specify that, you might be better with the colloquial "overdose", as in "I think I overdosed on bananas; my stomach is complaining".
    Great!!! That was what I was looking for, I think. Thanks!!!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ...
    "If you abuse bananas you will have problems with your stomach"
    "If you abuse sweets and cakes you will become too fat"
    ...
    It seems really odd to see "abuse" in this context - for reasons already suggested.
    Replacing "abuse" with "eat to many" would give sentences that seem entirely natural to me.

    It is difficult to imagine using very negative words such as "abuse" with yummy stuff like bananas. It might work with sweets and cakes, but even there it seems strange.
     
    It seems really odd to see "abuse" in this context - for reasons already suggested.
    Replacing "abuse" with "eat to many" would give sentences that seem entirely natural to me.

    It is difficult to imagine using very negative words such as "abuse" with yummy stuff like bananas. It might work with sweets and cakes, but even there it seems strange.
    I think "indulge in something", "indulge yourself", "overindulge", and "overindulge in something" are the best words suggested so far. They definitely convey the idea I was wondering about. By the way, in Russian it is not strange at all to use words like "abuse" with bananas, sweets, and even with bread. This fact confirms how different our languages are!!! :)

    All the best and many thanks!!!
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    OED says to abuse =
    Make excessive and habitual use of (alcohol or drugs, especially illegal ones)
    ‘at various times in her life she abused both alcohol and drugs’

    So to say '<They abuse alcohol a lot> is a redundancy though it makes certainly clear what is meant: they abuse alcohol often (as has been said here above). But that's also a redundancy. Strictly speaking...

     
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