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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default covered with/covered in/covered by

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the following metamorphoses of the primary meaning of the words by using of different prepositions?

    The box is covered with iron.

    The furniture was covered in chinitz.

    In the corner stood a statue covered by a white sheet.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: covered with/covered in/covered by

    To be honest, there's not much difference to me. The first sounds as though the covering might not be 100%.

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: covered with/covered in/covered by

    Hi Tdol,

    I think that I am not entirely unjustified in saying “Yes. Really and truly it is all too obvious that there are modifications in the primary meaning of the words.

    cover with = face, revet, wainscot

    cover in = upholster

    cover by = conceal, undercover

    Regards,

    V.

  4. #4
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: covered with/covered in/covered by

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi Tdol,

    I think that I am not entirely unjustified in saying “Yes. Really and truly it is all too obvious that there are modifications in the primary meaning of the words.

    cover with = face, revet, wainscot

    cover in = upholster

    cover by = conceal, undercover

    Regards,

    V.
    You're right, but there's no simple way to tell which preposition you need.
    Covered in often means spattered with, not fully covered: covered in mud, blood, pimples. Here the focus is generally on the mud, etc.
    Covered by often implies that it is concealed, as you say.
    Covered with can mean either of the above.
    Sometimes they're interchangeable: covered by/in/with snow.

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