error recognition

Discussion in 'English Only' started by layman9, May 5, 2014.

  1. layman9 Senior Member

    Until recently, women were forbidden by law from owning property.
    A. Until recently
    B. were
    C. by law
    D. from owning
    Could you tell me which part needs correction and why?
    Actually, I can't find anything which seems odd in this sentence. But the answer is D. I absolutely don't know why.
    To me, everything seems all right. "Forbid somebody from doing something" is grammatically correct; "until recently" is often used with past simple. So it's hard for me to find the error.
    I appreciate all your comments.
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  2. Greyfriar

    Greyfriar Senior Member

    It sounds fine to me. Perhaps if you let us have A, B and C things will become clearer.
  3. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    They are probably expecting "forbidden to own". One is "forbidden to do" something, but "prevented from" doing something.
  4. layman9 Senior Member

    oh sorry, let me edit the post.
  5. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    Collins Dictionary says:
  6. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
    I did not know that the forbid from construction has been criticised by some, but the MW Concise Dictionary of English Usage points out that its use goes back to 1526.
    The authors of this question were clearly using an out-of-date stylebook! :)
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  7. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    I found an interesting distinction between the two constructions in Wordsmyth:

    Definition 2: to command that (someone) not do something. Her parents forbade her to stay out past midnight.

    Definition 2: to prevent (someone) from doing something by commanding against it. Her parents tried to forbid her from marrying the man she loved .

    I doubt many people today make that distinction, but it supports the argument that the sentence in post #1 requires "forbidden to own".
  8. layman9 Senior Member

    Thank you very much for your help. I've learnt many from your discussion.

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