In conversation, I said:

Страдать морской болезнью? Если уже такая мелочь вызывает в тебе страх, то долго в море ты не протянешь.

I'm wondering what nuance "страдать от морской болезни" would have given to my phrasing? In the case of "страдать от любви", for instance, "страдать любовью" sounds odd to me.

All in all, when do you use "страдать + instrumental" – or "страдать от + genitive"?

  • just a minor unrelated notice: Russian infinitives don't really work as nominals in all positions: такая мелочь, как страдать is poor style. Same principle applies when you topicalize the infinitive. It's better to replace it with a nominal phrase: Морская болезнь? Ну если уж ты страшишься такой мелочи… etc.
    – Quassnoi
    Dec 19, 2018 at 15:42
  • @Quassnoi Ah, thanks. In French, I use incomplete infinitive sentences like this all the time, so that's where it comes from, I guess. Dec 19, 2018 at 16:49
  • The construct очень далеко от того, чтоб заниматься was put in mouth of a XIX century novel character as an example of a gallicism, so you're in a good company!
    – Quassnoi
    Dec 19, 2018 at 19:12

3 Answers 3


cтрадать + Instrumental - to be affected/afflicted by, to have, to experience

страдать + от + Genitive - to suffer from (which means literal suffering, not just as a

figure of speech)

Also in mundane contexts вызывать страх is usually accompanied by preposition у rather than в


Страдать + Accusative = to be ill with sth

Страдать болезнью = болеть

страдать морской болезнью

страдать малярией (болеть малярией)

страдать воспалением лёгких (болеть воспалением лёгких)


страдать ерундой - colloquial (to get busy with trifles, to procrastinate, to do wrong things, to be fooling around)


Наше образование слишком формально. Увы, любая система этим страдает. (Excessive formality is a drawback of any system)

Страдать от + Genitive = to suffer from sth

страдать от любви (to suffer from love, perhaps, unrequited love)

страдать от равнодушия людей (to suffer from people's indifference)

страдать от невзгод (to suffer from adversity)

Also it means to suffer losses or to be damaged.

От урагана пострадала деревня (the village has suffered from the hurricane, the village was damaged by the hurricane).


It is actually fine to "страдать любовью" in poetry:

У ног других не забывал Я взор твоих очей; Любя других, я лишь страдал Любовью прежних дней;

But in real life more natural is to say "страдать от любви"

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