How to use ‘From’ in English
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From is a preposition that can be used in several ways:
TO INDICATE THE ORIGIN
From is used to indicate an origin, a starting point in space:
- Where do you come from?
- Yoshi comes from Japan.
- I borrowed this computer from my father.
- I got an e-mail from her today.
- He tried to steal it from me.
- This passage is from a novel written by Stephen King.
- Can you get me a spoon from that drawer?
From can also indicate a starting point in time (usually to talk about the future):
- Tickets for the concert are on sale from Monday.
⚠️ Be from and come from are always in the present when we talk about a person’s origin. If we use come from in the past, it indicates the starting point of a trip, not the country or city where the person was born.
- Mr. Smith comes from New York. (He was born or he lives in New York)
- Mr. Smith came from New York. (Mr. Smith has travelled from New York)
FROM WITH TO/UNTIL
We use from with the prepositions to or until to mark the beginning and the end of an action in time. In general, we use instead from…to in the past times and from… until to talk about an event in the future.
- I work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
- We are meeting in Paris from Monday until Thursday.
- The river flows from east to west.
- François Hollande was the president of France from 2012 to 2017.
From can also be used with numerical indications (prices, numbers…):
- The price went up from €100 to €150.
- Prices range from £800 to £1000 for a good laptop.
- Prices start from €200 per week for car rental.
We use from … to to talk about changing the state of something:
- The colour of the liquid changed from yellow to red.
TO EXPRESS DISTANCE
With from, we also express the idea of a distance:
- He’s moved from London to Tokyo.
- We are only five minutes from the beach.
TO EXPRESS YOUR POINT OF VIEW
From also allows you to express a point of view:
- From what I’ve heard this movie is not worth seeing.
- From my point of view, that makes sense.
We can use from to indicate the cause of something:
- He died from diarrhea and dehydration.
- Paul is suffering from cancer.
TO EXPRESS SEPARATION, EXCLUSION, DIFFERENTIATION
- An umbrella protects from the sun.
- He knows right from wrong.
- He’s quite different from the others.
THE MATERIAL OF INGREDIENT
With from we can indicate where the material or ingredients from which certain things are made come from:
- Cheese is made from milk.
- It’s made from wood.
USEFUL EXPRESSIONS WITH FROM
⚠️ From is often used with the following verbs:
- borrow from…
- disappear from…
- discourage from…
- suffer from…
- prevent from…
- protect from…
- steal from…
- recover from…
⚠️ From now on means: from this moment
- From now on, I will be more careful.
- From now on, I’ll try to help you more at home..
- From now on I never want to clean the toilet again.
⚠️ Other useful expressions with FROM:
- apart from : Apart from sport, I like music.
- aside from : There is nothing here aside from the library.