What's the difference between "ban", "prohibit" and "forbid"? Are they always interchangeable?
"Ban" is saying that you can't do something and it may be specific to an area or time. For example, if smoking is banned you cannot do it. You can also be banned from places. For example if you post something inappropriate on a chat forum, they can then ban you. Ban is also used in a more legal sense, relating to laws. Ex: He got banned from the bar because he was causing a disturbance. Ex: Smoking is banned in public places. To "forbid" is very similar to "ban" however it carries a more social message. If something is forbidden it seems as though it would cause a bad reaction from people or people might be offended. Forbidden carries a more emotional presence and is not very official. Ex: We are forbidden to eat food in class. Ex: My mom forbid my brother from using his phone at the dinner table. To "prohibit" means to give an order not to do something which is directed to the general (unknown) public, it has a much for formal and legal context. Ex: We were prohibited from being outside after 10 pm during the curfew. Ex: The law prohibits us from driving on that side of the road. Overall, "ban", "forbid" and "prohibit" are basically synonyms for each other with slight differences. The difference also applies to what situation you are using it in.
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