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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
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    #1

    to be suprised at or to be suprised by...

    Hi,
    what is correct ?

    They were suprised at/by their good fortune.

    I was suprised by/at his reaction to the problem.

    Could you please clarify for me when do I say I was suprised by/at... and give some other examples where both phrases are used.

    And if had made any mistake in this post please correct me.

    Thanks a lot.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #2

    Re: to be suprised at or to be suprised by...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikko4 View Post
    Hi,
    what is correct ?

    They were suprised at/by their good fortune.

    I was suprised by/at his reaction to the problem.

    Could you please clarify for me when do I say I was suprised by/at... and give some other examples where both phrases are used.

    And if had made any mistake in this post please correct me.

    Thanks a lot.
    Surprised at - joins the stimulus and the reaction into one scene. E.g. I was surprised at seeing her in my room.
    Surprised by - lays the stress on the factor that caused the surprise. E.g. I was surprised by her early arrival.

    I think depending on what you want to say, you can choose a preposition in your sentences. However, the first one sounds somewhat odd to me lexically.


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    #3

    Re: to be suprised at or to be suprised by...

    So then it is:

    I was suprised by his reaction
    and
    They were suprised at their good fortune.

    right ?


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #4

    Re: to be suprised at or to be suprised by...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikko4 View Post
    So then it is:

    I was suprised by his reaction
    and
    They were suprised at their good fortune.

    right ?
    I was surprised at / by his reaction. Depends upon which element of the situation you want to lay the stress on.

    'At' in the second sentence is more likely. There is something about this sentence that makes me uncomfortable.


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    #5

    Re: to be suprised at or to be suprised by...

    I was suprised by her reaction.

    - this means, if I understand it right (which I doubt), that I was suprised that it was her who did something (reaction) and I wasn't suprised by her reaction.

    I was suprised at her reaction.


    - and this means as I understand it that I was suprised eaqually by the fact that it was her who did something (reaction) and also by her reaction (it was inappropriate...)

    I'm a little bit confused.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #6

    Re: to be suprised at or to be suprised by...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikko4 View Post
    I was suprised by her reaction.

    - this means, if I understand it right (which I doubt), that I was suprised that it was her who did something (reaction) and I wasn't suprised by her reaction.

    I was suprised at her reaction.


    - and this means as I understand it that I was suprised eaqually by the fact that it was her who did something (reaction) and also by her reaction (it was inappropriate...)

    I'm a little bit confused.
    Let's approach it from another angle.
    1. What did you feel when you saw his reaction to the news? - I was surprised at his reaction.
    2. I noticed you looked surprised at yesterday's party. What was it? - I was surprised by his reaction to the news.


    • Join Date: Mar 2008
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    #7

    Re: to be suprised at or to be suprised by...

    I'm sorry but I'm not following you. Could you make some rule for me or something like that as to when it is better to say suprised by/at so I can understand it.

    thank you

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