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    #1

    "overcome with shock" or "overcome by shock"

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the difference between the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    She was stunned by the experience, overcome by "shock at the discovery that the contact between man and woman could be so brutal and painful. ...

    Angels organization is overcome with shock and grief after pitcher Nick Adenhart's death.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. jackolantern's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
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    #2

    Re: "overcome with shock" or "overcome by shock"

    I am not a teacher, but I am a native speaker.

    "overcome with shock" is how a native would say it. I don't know exactly why "overcome by shock" does not work, but it does not sound natural.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "overcome with shock" or "overcome by shock"

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the difference between the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    She was stunned by the experience, overcome by "shock at the discovery that the contact between man and woman could be so brutal and painful. ...

    Angels organization is overcome with shock and grief after pitcher Nick Adenhart's death.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Either is acceptable and correct.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "overcome with shock" or "overcome by shock"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Either is acceptable and correct.
    Surely 'overcome with' is more common, especially in BrE.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "overcome with shock" or "overcome by shock"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Surely 'overcome with' is more common, especially in BrE.
    Maybe it is in BrE. I'll defer to you on that.
    If someone is overcome, they have been overcome by something; in this case it's by shock.
    If sleep overcomes me, I am overcome by sleep. (not "with sleep").
    I was overcome by the fumes from the fire. (Not 'with'). The fumes overcame me.
    In some cases, 'with' sounds better: overcome with emotion, with grief; though 'by' would also work for me.
    In the case of shock, 'by' and 'with' sound equally correct to me.

    I suppose it would depend on whether you are thinking of 'overcome' as an adjective or as a past participle.
    Once you have been overcome (pp) by shock, you are overcome (adj) with shock.
    Last edited by Raymott; 26-Jun-2009 at 20:48.


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    #6

    Re: "overcome with shock" or "overcome by shock"

    overcome by an external agency : ...overcome by the superior British forces...

    overcome with an emotion (internal agency) : overcome with excitement, grief, anger, rage, shock

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