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I want to know the most common preposition used to reference the subject of the survey/research.

If the subject (of research or a/the survey) is "20,000 adults in Britain", then what preposition do we use to reference them?

For example, in this sentence,

Researchers analyzed survey results from 20,000 British adults and found that those who exercised for 20 minutes each day were 40% less likely to suffer from significant levels of stress and anxiety.

Here the writer used the preposition from to reference the subject 20,000 British adults, and I am curious about the proper preposition when I indicate the subject of the survey or research like this.

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Doctors analyzed the blood of|from 500 patients.

Researchers studied the reaction speed of 500 test subjects.

Psychologists studied drawings by 500 kindergartners.

Epidemiologists studied the organism in 500 infected persons.

Immunologists studied the effects of the vaccine on 500 subjects.

The preposition will depend on the noun in boldface. The preposition indicates the relationship of that noun to the object of the preposition.

| improve this answer | |
  • Although I'm sure from is idiomatically far more common in OP's exact context, I can't see that of is in any way "incorrect". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 7 '18 at 14:47
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    Either would be OK. My main point is that before you can decide on the preposition, you have to understand the relationship of the noun in the bolded position to the noun that is the object of the preposition. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 7 '18 at 16:09
  • Indeed. I wouldn't have a problem using with in your second and last examples (particularly with test subjects as the referent). As you say, it's more important (or at least, just as important) what "primary" noun (as highlighted by you) is involved, as opposed to the "secondary" noun following the preposition. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 7 '18 at 18:12

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