attracted to or attracted by?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Tuvufalamericano, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Tuvufalamericano New Member

    Italian
    Hi everybody! Can someone please explain me the difference between "attracted to" and "attracted by"?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Welcome to the forum Tubufalamericano. Forum rules ask that you tell us what you think the answer to your question is and why, before we give you the answer and, in this case, I wonder if you don't have some idea of the difference. How about giving it a shot?:)
     
  3. Tuvufalamericano New Member

    Italian
    Hi Dimcl, thanks for the tip! Well actually I would say "attracted by" because this is the proper way in Italian, French and probably Spanish. But the only way I heard that in English is the other. Nevertheless, it seems that "attracted by" works as well so I'm confused...
     
  4. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    There is a very subtle difference. If you are attracted "to" someone, you gravitate toward them like bees are attracted to flowers.

    If you are attracted "by" someone, you find them attractive but you aren't necessarily pulled toward them.

    Imagine a young man walking down a street. A beautiful woman (a stranger to him) is walking toward him. He immediately notices her and watches her as she approaches him and then turns to watch her as she walks by. He then continues on his way. He was attracted "by" the woman. If he had turned and followed her and (perhaps) introduced himself, you could say that he was attracted "to" her.

    It's a fine distinction and using one or the other in any similar context probably would be fine but that's the distinction that I make.
     
  5. neal41 Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA, English
    If you are attracted to X, you find it pleasant, pleasurable, attractive, desirable.

    If you are attracted by X, your attention is directed to it. X is probably pleasant but maybe not.
     
  6. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    "I am attracted to this person".
    "I am attracted by his / her personality".
     
  7. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    "To" is used for the destination or direction of the attraction; "by" is used for the agent of or reason for the attraction.

    I was attracted to her by her personality.

     
  8. Tuvufalamericano New Member

    Italian
    Thank you all.
    Now It sounds more clear, but still quite difficult. It seems to me that in many cases I can use eighter of them.

    "I'm attracted by/to complicate situations"
    "I'm attracted by/to adventurous travels"

    Can you please provide me with some examples with "to" + something else than a person?

    Grazie mille!
     
  9. neal41 Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA, English
     

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