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Is it possible to rewrite example 1 into example 2 ?

  1. The plate is attached to the wall.
  2. The wall is attached with the plate.

2 Answers 2

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Short answer: no, you can't.

A simple sentence is normally made up of a verb and two nouns- a subject and an object. Your sentences are actually passive voice, where the object moves to the front of the sentence and the subject disappears.

I attach the plate active
The plate is attached passive

Prepositions are used to provide information about additional nouns that are involved in what's happening. Most prepositions have several different meanings, but they generally have only one meaning when associated with a particular verb.

If we look at the verb attach, we generally attach a small thing to a large thing- for example

he attached a plate to the wall.

Plate is the object and wall is associated through the preposition to.

We attach the plate to the wall with some attachment mechanism, for example

he attached a plate to the wall with a screw

If we look at the verb provide, we generally provide a person with something, for example,

The school provided the children with books

the children are the object and books are associated through the preposition with

In the attach sentence, with describes a method or medium of attachment, whereas in the provide sentence, with means that the recipient will have something once it's been provided.

You need to be clear about what exactly a particular preposition means when it is used with a particular verb. The exact meaning of each verb/preposition combination often doesn't translate very well, so you cannot assume that there are any parallels between your own language and any other.

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The plate is attached to the wall. [idiomatic]

Passive: is attached means connected to, hanging on the wall.

You attach a plate to a wall [with a hook].

The wall is attached with the plate. [not correct]. Walls are not attached. The wall has a plate attached to it. A wall cannot attach something.

The button is attached with the button cover. [correct]. In the sentence above, attached with means: with the button cover on it.

Provided with has a different meaning. A wall cannot be provided with anything.

1) We provided you with books to take the course. [gave you] 2) The children were provided with books during the class. [given]

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