Suffer from / suffer

Dear All

Please tell the difference between suffer and suffer from .

Are there any spicific rules? I tried a dictionary or two but they only give sentences and not the differences. So please explain.


If you say someone suffers, it means that they are enduring physical or emotional pain. If you want to say what is causing the suffering, you add the preposition from and name the cause.

Freddie is really suffering.
(The cause? Nobody knows or they are not saying.)

Freddie is suffering from his injury.
Freddie suffers from an illness.
Freddie suffers from his bad decisions.

Yes, this is a normal structure. All it means is that he has had a stroke.

Hi Tom

You should use suffer from to talk about an illness that goes on for a period of time.

You would use suffer (without the word from) when you talk about something that happens quickly — as is the case with a stroke or e.g. a concussion.

He suffers from heart disease.
— BUT —
He suffered a heart attack.



Today I read a sentence from the following article: … discovery/

It says:
SNMPv3/USM, unfortunately, does suffer from some elements of man-in-the-middle attacks.
(SNMPv3/USM is a kind of network protocols)

I am thinking whether the “from” is redundant or not.
Could anyone explain it?

Thank you.


I don’t think it’s redundant.
Referring to Amy’s explanation above, “to suffer something” is used to indicate that something bad happens instanteniously, not over a space of time.

You suffer a blow to the head (if someone strikes you).
But you suffer from someone’s attacks (if someone is attacking/pestering you intermittently).

[DELETED as a duplicate]
(came a few minutes late and a dollar short )

So “suffer from” is not restricted to talking about disease. Am I correct?

Can I say…

  • I am suffering from my heavy load of work.
  • We will suffer from starvation if the climate gets worse.

Thank you.


No, as Jamie wrote in 2006, you can also suffer from bad decisions or any other negative causes.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: Have you ever been scuba diving?[YSaerTTEW443543]