I was surprised at/by/ (about?) the good news

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Trotskygap, May 1, 2014.

  1. Trotskygap New Member

    Spanish
    Hi there

    Well, I hope you can help me please

    I got a doubt about adjectives + prepositions, for example:

    1. I was surprised at/by/ (about?) the good news.
    2. I was shocked at/by/ (about?) the bad news.

    I know that if I'm getting a good news I should use surprised and if it's a bad one I should use shocked, anyway, OALD dictionary says that in these both cases I can just use either "at sb/sth" or "by sb/sth" and I'm not pretty sure about that, I was thinking about it and I suppose that It might be possible to use "about sb/sth" too, I got the same situation with many other adjectives, so, Does each adjective got its own patterns or the preposition depends on the context? (if the pereposition depends on the context, What are the context of each one of these prepositions)

    [……] Edición del moderador

    This doubt really bugs me


    I thank you in advance.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2014
  2. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    I don't think you'll find a simple answer. In general, yes, some adjectives go with certain prepositions, but some adjectives can go with more than one preposition (and context will determine which preposition fits better, though in many cases the use of one preposition doesn't rule out other prepositions, as the meaning doesn't really change). For example, with "surprised," I think it's safe to say that "by" and "at" are more common, but you'll also find "about" and "with." There is no fixed pattern; the more you read, the more you become accostumed with English, the easier it becomes knowing which preposition to use (or not use).
    Cheers
     
  3. roxcyn

    roxcyn Senior Member

    USA
    American English [AmE]
    They seem all okay to my ears. I've heard people saying them. I think I tend to prefer "by", though. I was surprised by.... / I was shocked by... I know it might not be the answer you were looking for. :).
     
  4. Wjames2 Member

    English

    Hi,

    First, a few corrections:

    I got a doubt about adjectives + prepositions:cross:
    I've got a doubt about adjectives + prepositions or
    I have a doubt about adjectives + prepositions

    I know that if I'm getting a good news:cross:
    I know that if I'm getting good news

    OALD dictionary says that in these both cases:cross:
    OALD dictionary says that in both these cases

    I got the same situation:cross:
    I'm in the same situation

    Does each adjective got its own patterns or the preposition depends on the context?:cross:
    Does each adjective have its own patterns or does the preposition depend on the context? or
    Has each adjective got its own patterns or does the preposition depend on the context?

    What are the context of each one of these prepositions:cross:
    what is the context of each of these prepositions?

    if it's a bad one [news] :cross:
    if it's bad [news] or
    if it's bad news



    To answer your question, I would only use "by" in both cases. I would not use "about," as it doesn't please my ears. I hear "at" sometimes, and it strikes me as incorrect or uneducated. I hardly ever see it in formal writing.


    cheers!
     

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