I know that the verb отказаться requires the preposition от before mentioning the thing to be refused.

If the following word is a noun, then no problem. The noun declines into the genitive.

They refused the silver medal. Они отказались от серебряной медали.

But, what if we put a clause after от rather than just a noun?

They refused to receive the silver medal. Они отказались от того, чтобы получить серебряную медаль.

Does it work this way?

  • this is correct but too wordy, more pertinent to vernacular, one can also say Они отказались от получения серебряной медали which is an equivalent of They refused receiving/receipt Jul 12, 2018 at 19:49
  • and also отказались получать just like in another question рискует потерять, subordinate clause makes more sense when there's a need to use a verb with a different subject Jul 13, 2018 at 6:57
  • Then, whenever a verb is typically followed by a preposition + declined noun, or just a declined noun, if the first verb is followed by a second verb instead, we just need to add the second verb in the infinitive with no preposition?
    – swrutra
    Jul 14, 2018 at 11:45
  • this only applies to verbs which can have modal function (those in the 1st position), which describe act or a state affecting other act, i believe their repertoire largely matches that of English, in English too we can say refused to accept, risks to lose, i tried to look for a list of such verbs but have been unsuccessful so far, some examples are бояться, лениться, надеяться, нравиться, сомневаться (special case), мечтать, сесть, встать, лечь, пойти, остаться, предлагать, отговаривать, (раз)убеждать Jul 14, 2018 at 15:08
  • it seems that most of them are intransitive or transitive able to also accept indirect object Jul 14, 2018 at 15:08

1 Answer 1


You're absolutely right with the Russian translation, only to receive the silver medal is not a clause, it's an infinitive phrase. A clause should have a subject of its own. Anyway, with a real clause it will work just the same way, with от того, чтобы, for example:

Они отказались от того, чтобы он вручил им серебряную медаль. (They refused that he should give them the silver medal.)

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