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  1. Banned
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2011
    • Posts: 107

    Arrow disappointed in/by
    In a statement, an appeals lawyer for the city, Julie Steiner O’Donnell, said, “We are very disappointed in the court’s decision and in its interpretation of the N.Y.C. Human Rights Law.”
    Five days after two New York police officers were acquitted of rape charges, their accuser broke her silence, releasing a statement in which she said she was “devastated and disappointed by the jury’s decision.”
    Are there subtle differences between "disappointed in" and "disappointed by" only known to native speakers?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134

    Re: disappointed in/by

    There is no real difference between 'by', 'at' and 'in'

    Personally, I use 'disappointed in' when something or someone has not come up to my expectations over a period of time, and disappointed 'at/by' for a more immediate let-down.

    I am disappointed in my flowers thiis year. I had hoped for a much better display.

    I was disapponted by/at the final score. I think we could have won by a much wider margin.

    However, others may not agree with me, including, it appears, the writer of your first sentence - I would have used 'at or 'by'.
    Last edited by 5jj; 27-Jul-2011 at 11:28.

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