weight suspended from/on a spring

English translation: from

18:41 Apr 20, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Science - Science (general)
English term or phrase: weight suspended from/on a spring
Which of the two prepositions below is correct? Or may be both?
a weight suspended ON a spring
a weight suspended FROM a spring
Nik-On/Off
Ukraine
Local time: 09:14
English translation:from
Explanation:
Personally, I'd go for 'from' --- it just feels right!

You might well say 'hanging on a thread', but somehow, the more scientific-sounding 'suspended...' seems to cry out for 'from'.

Also, being pedantic, if something is suspended down from below something, it sounds faintly silly to say 'on'

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Note added at 11 mins (2005-04-20 18:53:27 GMT)
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I don\'t think you could say either preposition is \'wrong\', but it just seems to me that the verb \'suspended\' goes better when followed by \'from\'; other verbs would probably sound better with other prepositions.



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Note added at 1 hr 38 mins (2005-04-20 20:20:27 GMT)
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Personally, in the case of a double suspension, to avoid repeating from, I would indeed say \'suspended BY the neck FROM the gibbet\', for example --- or \'hung by the neck until dead\', of course!

Look at it this way, it is attached TO something in order to be suspended FROM it.

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Note added at 1 hr 40 mins (2005-04-20 20:22:55 GMT)
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I repeat, I don\'t think it\'s anything to do with the preposition itself, but much more to do with what goes with the VERB. \'hang on\' sounds fine, but to my ears \'suspended from\' sounds the best, like \'dangle off OR from\'

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Note added at 2 hrs 28 mins (2005-04-20 21:10:35 GMT)
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Rafa³ has raised an interesting point there, and I think explained the difference between the point / agent; but I still maintain that \'by\' and \'from\' go better together; indeed, you couldn\'t possibly say \'hang on the neck\', that would not be right at all, and in fact would have a quite different meaning, which kind of reinforces my feeling that \'on\' is at best sometimes tolerable.

A towel can hang on a rail; but I think that\'s a special case, since it virtually means \'over\'...

Isn\'t language fascinating in all its intricacies? :-))
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 08:14
Grading comment
Thanks to all of you for the interesting discussion!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +6from
Tony M
3 +4both are correct - I would prefer ON
RHELLER
3 +2on (plus more comments)
Ken Cox
3 +1Weight ON a spring FROM the ceiling
Rafal Korycinski


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Weight ON a spring FROM the ceiling


Explanation:
IMHO

Rafal Korycinski
Poland
Local time: 08:14
Native speaker of: Native in PolishPolish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Konstantin Kisin
11 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
from


Explanation:
Personally, I'd go for 'from' --- it just feels right!

You might well say 'hanging on a thread', but somehow, the more scientific-sounding 'suspended...' seems to cry out for 'from'.

Also, being pedantic, if something is suspended down from below something, it sounds faintly silly to say 'on'

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 mins (2005-04-20 18:53:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I don\'t think you could say either preposition is \'wrong\', but it just seems to me that the verb \'suspended\' goes better when followed by \'from\'; other verbs would probably sound better with other prepositions.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 38 mins (2005-04-20 20:20:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Personally, in the case of a double suspension, to avoid repeating from, I would indeed say \'suspended BY the neck FROM the gibbet\', for example --- or \'hung by the neck until dead\', of course!

Look at it this way, it is attached TO something in order to be suspended FROM it.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 40 mins (2005-04-20 20:22:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I repeat, I don\'t think it\'s anything to do with the preposition itself, but much more to do with what goes with the VERB. \'hang on\' sounds fine, but to my ears \'suspended from\' sounds the best, like \'dangle off OR from\'

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs 28 mins (2005-04-20 21:10:35 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Rafa³ has raised an interesting point there, and I think explained the difference between the point / agent; but I still maintain that \'by\' and \'from\' go better together; indeed, you couldn\'t possibly say \'hang on the neck\', that would not be right at all, and in fact would have a quite different meaning, which kind of reinforces my feeling that \'on\' is at best sometimes tolerable.

A towel can hang on a rail; but I think that\'s a special case, since it virtually means \'over\'...

Isn\'t language fascinating in all its intricacies? :-))

Tony M
France
Local time: 08:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 32
Grading comment
Thanks to all of you for the interesting discussion!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
16 mins
  -> Thanks, Vicky!

agree  Robert Donahue (X): This does sound better.
22 mins
  -> Thanks, Robert! :-)

agree  Jörgen Slet
22 mins
  -> Thanks, Jörgen!

neutral  Rafal Korycinski: IMO, if a spring here is a tool to suspend one should use "on", if it is THE point where something is suspended - one should use "from". Try to replace "line" for "spring". BTW, for me also "suspend" goes better with "from".
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Rafa³! Please see my added note above ^ ^ ^

agree  Helen Genevier
11 hrs
  -> Thanks, Helen!

agree  Eva Olsson
1 day 1 hr
  -> Thanks, Eva!

agree  Refugio: suspended from is the way to go
2 days 9 hrs
  -> Thanks, Ruth!
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
on (plus more comments)


Explanation:
A few more comments:

The weight is suspended *from* something *by means of* something else. The first something could be a ceiling, branch, or whatever, and is presumably relatively rigid. The something else could be a spring, string, chain, etc.
If you don't specify what the weight is suspended from, you can say 'suspended on' or 'suspended by' (although 'hanging' is perhaps more common in conjunction with 'by'). To me, a weight *suspended from a string* means that there is something else (a string, for example) between the weight and the spring.
If you do want to specify what the weight is supended from, IMO the natural way to express this is 'a weight suspended from the ceiling on a spring', 'a weight suspended from the ceiling by a spring', or 'a weight suspended from the ceiling using a spring'.

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Note added at 2 hrs 30 mins (2005-04-20 21:12:17 GMT)
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Oops, in the second paragraph that should read \'*suspended from a spring*\'.

Ken Cox
Local time: 08:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  RHELLER: from the ceiling by a spring - sounds good - certainly can't use on the ceiling
22 mins

agree  jennifer newsome (X)
3 days 4 hrs
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15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
both are correct - I would prefer ON


Explanation:
from a spring sounds like fresh water to me

Mass on a Spring... Below is an animation of the motion of a mass hanging on a spring. As it moves up and down the total energy of the system expresses itself as changing ...
id.mind.net/~zona/mstm/physics/ mechanics/energy/massOnASpring/massOnASpring.html -


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Note added at 2 hrs 54 mins (2005-04-20 21:36:03 GMT)
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Now that we understand that the weight is being suspended from the ceiling NOT the spring, the situation is clear:

the weight is suspended from the ceiling using a spring
a spring is used to hang the weight from the ceiling
the weight is hanging

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 00:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Konstantin Kisin
5 mins
  -> thanks Konstantin!

agree  Robert Donahue (X): Depends on which the direction the weight is going I think.
21 mins
  -> downtown :-)

agree  Alfa Trans (X)
24 mins
  -> thanks Marju :-)

agree  jennifer newsome (X)
3 days 6 hrs
  -> thanks!
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