unattainable by

Sara Lee

Senior Member
Chinese
This is what is unattainable by those who fail。

WHY use "by" but not "to" after unattainable?
 
Last edited:
  • coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    "by" is used with an agent. "Those who fail" is the agent.

    The book was written by Faulkner.
    This recipe was cooked by my mother.

    We don't use "to" with agents.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    In your sentence, "for" is possible. Even "to" is possible. But I was answering your question as a general question about what preposition we normally use with agents. If something is done and Mr. Someone does it, we say "Something was done by Mr. Someone."

    But yes, other prepositions are possible, and they have slightly different connotations and emphases than if we're just talking about the agent.
     

    Sara Lee

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    In your sentence, "for" is possible. Even "to" is possible. But I was answering your question as a general question about what preposition we normally use with agents. If something is done and Mr. Someone does it, we say "Something was done by Mr. Someone."

    But yes, other prepositions are possible, and they have slightly different connotations and emphases than if we're just talking about the agent.

    OKAY, got it~
    Thank you so much~
     
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