unimpressed <by | with>

SimonTsai

Senior Member
Taiwanese Mandarin
Hello everyone,

I have a feeling that 'unimpressed by' is generally preferable to 'unimpressed with', and would like to know how English speakers actually use them.
[example]
-- Opposition leaders were unanimously unimpressed by the government's claims. [Macmillan]​
-- For those unimpressed with the analogy, let us continue with the thought experiment. [Cambridge]​
-- The horse Winston was singularly unimpressed by any of these aspects; in fact, he looked extremely sulky. [Oxford]​
[Google n-gram]
32447
 
Last edited:
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would use "with" with a person or thing, and "by" with an action, although I know of no strict rules to follow.

    In the first sentence, I would use "by", since there is a clear action involved (the government claiming something).

    Neither of the other two sentences make it clear what is being referred to.
     

    SimonTsai

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    [1] In the sentence which follows, since there is an action (someone's suggesting something), 'with' is less appropriate, right?
    [2] Which would you use in the following sentences adapted from other threads, 'by' or 'with'?
    I am unimpressed ____ the variety of projects. [source]​
    I am unimpressed ____ the missile's speed. [source]​
    I am unimpressed ____ your performance. [source]​
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would use "by" in [1], and probably "with", "by" and "with" in [2]. The reason for choosing "with" for the last sentence is because the thing I am really unimpressed with is the person. However, as you will see from the sources, different people have different preferences, and neither "by" nor "with" can be said to be wrong.
     
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