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Question
Dear Ted:

Which of the following sentences is/are correct ana natural?

1) If you suffer sleeplessness and depression you have symptoms of a lack of vitamin B.

2) If you suffer from sleeplessness and depression you have symptoms of a lack of vitamin B.

3) If you suffer with sleeplessness and depression you have symptoms of a lack of vitamin B.

If all three are possible, do they have the same meaning?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Again, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Which of the following sentences is/are correct ana natural?

1) If you suffer sleeplessness and depression you have symptoms of a lack of vitamin B.

2) If you suffer from sleeplessness and depression you have symptoms of a lack of vitamin B.

3) If you suffer with sleeplessness and depression you have symptoms of a lack of vitamin B.

If all three are possible, do they have the same meaning?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** Paolo, all three sentences mean the same thing.  I would rate them this way:  #2 is the most often used.  Then comes #3.  Since most people prefer a preposition after "suffer," I would rank #1 as the LEAST used.

Let's look at another problem:  Each sentence begins with an adverbial clause, e.g., "If you suffer from sleeplessness and depression."  A comma MUST follow an adverbial clause, if the clause begins the sentence.  Its common name is "introductory adverbial clause" and it must be separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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