Many people are overwhelmed as how to overcome the obstacles

EdisonBhola

Senior Member
Korean
Hi all, I see this phrase in a local magazine written by non-native:

Many people are overwhelmed as how to overcome the obstacles.

I think it sound weird, like something is wrong or missing. What do you think?
 
  • dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Yes, it does sound a bit odd, but I think adding 'to' before 'how' would do the trick.

    Many people are overwhelmed as to how to overcome the obstacles.

    It's nothing something I'd use myself or something that stikes me as good English, but Google produces a few results for "overwhelmed as to", so perhaps it's acceptable in colloquial English.
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    << EdisonBhola, Your source, please - Rule 4 >>

    You are overwhelmed by something. Overwhelmed as how or as to how make no sense, and finding examples through a Google search just serves as a reminder that this is not a good way of finding reliable sources of written English. To make the point, see the Google ngram for overwhelmed as,overwhelmed by.

    Overwhelmed as on its own can exist - they were overwhelmed as the tidal wave swept up the beach - where as is used to indicate the time of the event - so a few hits in the ngram can be expected.
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    So if I say:

    Many people are overwhelmed as to how to overcome the obstacles.

    That "overwhelmed as to" make no sense?

    Thank all!
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    So if I say: Many people are overwhelmed as to how to overcome the obstacles.

    That "overwhelmed as to" make no sense?
    That's right. It makes no sense. As Andy said (look again at post #3). It may help you to look up overwhelm in the WR dictionary.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    But if we look at "as to how to" in the N-gram viewer, there is a surprisingly large number of occurrences and they have risen rapidly since 1850.

    "Many people are overwhelmed as how to overcome the obstacles." should be, "Many people are overwhelmed as to how to overcome the obstacles." = Many people are overwhelmed by the thought of having to discover the solution to how they might overcome the obstacles.
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The frequency of as to how to in the ngram is completely irrelevant to the error in the original sentence which is the use of are overwhelmed as. The correct preposition to use with to be overwhelmed is by. That is why overwhelmed as is almost invisible in the ngram link which I gave earlier.

    Is this better?

    Many people are confused as to how to overcome the obstacles.
    No, grammatically it is fine, but being confused is not being overwhelmed.
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    But from Merriam Webster Dictionary, I find this example sentence:

    They were overwhelmed with work.

    So maybe some lesser used combinations are okay too?
     

    Adrisim

    New Member
    Mexican Spanish
    Many people people are overwhelmed as how to use overwhelmed in overwhelmed posts.
    This could be right.
    Lets hope for a Senior Member to do the trick and correct me properly.
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Why is it that you can say "confused as to" but not "overwhelmed as to"? Since we say both "confused by" and "overwhelmed by"?
     

    Adrisim

    New Member
    Mexican Spanish
    Let me rephrase my sentence:
    ''Many people are overwhelmed by how to use overwhelmed in overwhelmed posts''.
    This is definitely right. Makes sense and sounds natural.
    Any complaints?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I have a difficulty understanding 'overwhelmed posts'. Possibly you mean posts <about/discussing> 'overwhelmed' or posts on 'overwhelmed'.

    You wouldn't be overwhelmed by 'how to use overwhelmed'. You might be overwhelmed by questions about how to use overwhelmed.

    You could try:
    Many people are overwhelmed by questions about how to use 'overwhelmed' in posts about 'overwhelmed.'
     
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