made somebody at ease with/by

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Couch Tomato

Senior Member
Russian & Dutch
If I have the following sentence, 'I felt relaxed at Gita's house because her parents greeted me so warmly.' Let's say I have to complete the following sentence so that it has a similar meaning meaning to the previous sentence, but I have to use the boldfaced word.

Gita's parents .................................. the warmth of their greeting. (ease)

Would it be wrong to say, 'Gita's parents made me feel at easy by the warmth of their greeting?'

According to the answer key, the preposition should be "with", but does "by" really sound wrong here?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    If I have the following sentence, 'I felt relaxed at Gita's house because her parents greeted me so warmly.' Let's say I have to complete the following sentence so that it has a similar meaning meaning to the previous sentence, but I have to use the boldfaced word.

    Gita's parents .................................. the warmth of their greeting. (ease)

    Would it be wrong to say, 'Gita's parents made me feel at easy by the warmth of their greeting?'
    The sentence sounds fine to me, except that it should say ease rather than easy.

    According to the answer key, the preposition should be "with", but does "by" really sound wrong here?
    "by" sounds better to me than "with" because it's less ambiguous: They made me feel at ease with the warmth of their greeting suggests that the warmth of their greeting had made you feel uneasy, but then they (somehow or other) made you feel better about it.
     

    Couch Tomato

    Senior Member
    Russian & Dutch
    The sentence sounds fine to me, except that it should say ease rather than easy.
    Sorry for that, I really need to check my messages before I post them. Of course, I meant to say "ease" and not "easy".

    Thank you for sharing your opinion!

    Edit. This is a practice question from the CPE of the Unversity of Cambridge. The answer key says: put me | at (my) ease with OR made me feel | at ease with.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree that there is nothing wrong with using by and I do not see with as being preferable, so I would take the view that the question setter was wrong to make with the only correct response.

    (by the way, Couch Tomato, I have edited the thread title. sb is not an accepted abbreviation here)
     
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