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With, of, about problems

So in my exam we had these questions
Here are is the thing it says.
Complete the sentences with the correct propositions.
1. I’m confused ... this invitation. It says the party is on Sunday 24th, but Sunday is the 22nd. (I have written “with”, but teacher says it’s “about”, can anyone explai w hy?)
2. Nicki is still feeling ashamed ... her behaviour at the party last weekend.
(I have with, but teacher says it’s “about”
3. I’m not usually jelous ... other people’s success.
(I have “with”)
Please help, explain and tell which is right


  • @notericmeyer, with is wrong in all three sentences.

    • If you say
      X is confused with Y
      you mean
      'People don't know the difference between X and Y'
      'People say X when they mean Y'

    • If you say
      I'm ashamed with you or I'm jealous with you
      you mean
      'I feel ashamed just as you do' or 'I feel jealous as you do'

    It may help to think that with always has a sense of 'together'.

    Yes English does say fight with. But if X is fighting with Y, they're both fighting — so in a sense they're doing the same thing together.

    In [2], Nikki and her behaviour are different sorts of things. In this sentence we're looking at the difference — not some way in which they are together.

    In a different sentence we could talk about the two together. For example:

    I'm tired of Nikki with her opinions and her behaviour

    In [3] the word jealous always carries the meaning of 'against' — not 'together'.

    When you learn an English verb or adjective, try to learn which propositions go with it. Here are some links to entries in the Online Dictionary


    The Collins COBUILD Online Learner's Dictionary includes information on propositions.
    confused [+with/by]
    ashamed [+of] [Also +about]
    jealous [+of]

  • PrudencePrudence
    edited November 2018
    I'm completely new to this forum and not an English language expert, although I am a native speaker.  My sister-in-law constantly corrects me for overuse of the word "of"--I tend to say, "May I taste of it?" She slaps me on the arm and says "of" is unnecessary and incorrect in that phrase.  I know that either is correct, but I can't find a citation to fight her with.  Help me!
  • @Prudence, the vocabulary of the senses can be tricky.

    Let's start with sound and sight. English has verbs for

    1. a person making an effort
    2. a person having an experience, without making an effort
    3. a thing affecting a person

    So for sound

    1. I listened.
    2. I heard a dog.
    3. The dog sounded angry.

    For sight

    1. I looked.
    2. I saw the flower.
    3. The flower looked pretty

    For sight the verb look is used for [1] and [3]. For taste there is even less variety.

    1. I tasted.
    2. I tasted the soup.
    3. The soup tasted salty.

    Now there is another verb. It's a two-word verb taste of. We use it

    • only for [3]
    • referring not to the object tasted but to the strongest ingredient

    So we can say

    1. I tasted.
    2. I tasted the soup.
      3a. The soup tasted good.
      3b. It tasted of asparagus.

    Now your question only makes sense with meaning [2]. If you say

    May I taste of it?

    It means

    'Please cover me with it, so that when somebody eats me they will taste it — more strongly than they'll taste my flesh.'

    which is not what you mean.

    There is a four-word verb you could use: have a taste of. So you could say

    May I have a taste of it?

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