[Grammar] Preposition: at or by?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Joe333

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Tamil
Home Country
Sri Lanka
Current Location
Spain
Sentence: I am amazed by/at your reluctancy to answer simple queries.

Question:
Which preposition should come in the sentence, at or by? Also tell me the logic behind it.

Thanks and regards
 
Last edited:

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
Sentence: I am amazed by/at your reluctanc[STRIKE]y[/STRIKE]e to answer simple queries.
Question: Which preposition [STRIKE]shall[/STRIKE] should come in the sentence, at or by?
Either. If we use 'by', we are perhaps seeing the 'amazed' more as a past participle in a passive construction. With 'at', 'amazed' is more adjectival.

However, there is no practical difference between the two.
 

Joe333

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Tamil
Home Country
Sri Lanka
Current Location
Spain
Either. If we use 'by', we are perhaps seeing the 'amazed' more as a past participle in a passive construction. With 'at', 'amazed' is more adjectival.

However, there is no practical difference between the two.

Thanks for telling that subtle difference. That is what I was looking for as both were looking correct to me. But I did not completely get that "adjectival" part in your reply. Can you explain it a bit, a bit more? :)
 

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
Thanks for telling that subtle difference. That is what I was looking for as both were looking correct to me. But I did not completely get that "adjectival" part in your reply. Can you explain it a bit, a bit more? :)
Some past participles have been used as adjectives for so long, that they are, in effect, adjectives.

1. What you say interests me. I am interested by what you say.
Here we appear to have a present simple passive construction. 'interested' is the past participle of the verb 'interest'..

2a. I am unhappy about what you are saying.
Here, 'unhappy' is clearly an adjective.

2b. I am interested in what you say.
'interested' appears to be an adjective.

Personally, I don't think it matters what we call these words. I have mentioned this simply because you asked.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top