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  1. #1
    carla guaraldi is offline Member
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    Default surprised at/ surprised by

    When should I use "I'm surprised AT
    and I'm surprised BY
    Is there any rules?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: surprised at/ surprised by

    Quote Originally Posted by carla guaraldi
    When should I use "I'm surprised AT
    and I'm surprised BY
    Is there any rules?
    Thank you.
    The word surprise by its very nature is a non progressive verb (in most cases) and therefore you will see it used in passive forms. Those forms will be followed by at or by - in those cases either the preson or thing does the action.

    Ex.

    I am so surprised at/by her behavior.
    I am really surprised at what I have seen/by what I have seen.

    by/at expresses the same idea. No difference.

  3. #3
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: surprised at/ surprised by

    .
    Though they are quite similar indeed and usually interchangeable, I think that the passive voice is represented, as usual, by the 'by' form-- 'I was surprised by the butler's sudden appearance' = 'the butler's sudden appearance surprised me'.

    The 'at' form, meanwhile, is rather a collocation with the adjective. Two different grammars serving the same end.

    .

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