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How can we use the word 'mesmerised' in Active Voice?

  1. The magician mesmerised the audience with his performance with a lion.
  2. The magician mesmerised the audience by his performance with a lion.

Mesmerize by / with.

Eg- The thief mesmerised the child with/ by a fancy toy.

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It is difficult to devise a rule that suits all verbs and circumstances. But I would use by to designate an action and with to designate a thing.

She entertained the kids by telling them a story.

She entertained the kids with a story.

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It's not as much about "mesmerize by/with" as it is about "with/by his performance":

If we use a different verb, for instance "surprise" we get:

  1. The magician surprised the audience with his performance with a lion.
  2. The magician surprised the audience by his performance with a lion.

We can clearly see that the 1st is correct while the second one is also correct but would be even better with a present participle.

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    So, should it be framed- The magician mesmerised the audience by performing with a lion.???? And sentence number 1 sounds appropriate...right? – Ayesha Aug 30 '17 at 18:14
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    @Ayesha Either your example or by showing his perfomance with a lion. – SovereignSun Aug 31 '17 at 16:54
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The verb mesmerize is often used in the passive with the preposition by not with because it means to have someone's attention completely so that they cannot think of anything else. However, you can use other verbs in active and serve the same meaning like capture, captivate, fascinate, ...

  • Even I thought the same thing... but when I checked the Merriam Webster dictionary, the meaning given was- to hold the attention/ attract or amaze someone... so I thought, 'mesmerise' could be used in Active voice. – Ayesha Sep 2 '17 at 11:18

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