What is the meaning difference between "be exposed to" and "be exposure". Especially I can't interpret the meaning of "exposed to". When and how should I use it?

I saw a sentence about it recently. It was:

It just opened up a new world to me. I'd never been exposed to other cultures, and that trip gave me my first taste of the world outside my country

Which word(s) can be used instead of exposed to?

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    I've never heard be exposure used before. I suspect it's ungrammatical. (On the other hand, be exposed to is grammatical and common.) Oct 30, 2018 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


Be exposed to means that someone or something is brought into contact with something else, often with the implication that the contact will cause some kind of change. For example "I want my children to be exposed to a wide variety of cultures and lifestyles", or "Workers at Chernobyl were expected to be exposed to high radiation levels".

Exposure is the state of being exposed or revealed. "Children benefit from exposure to a wide variety of cultures and lifestyles", or "Your product will benefit from wide exposure to the public".

Be exposure cannot be used in place of be exposed to or simple exposure. The only way I can think of it being used would be something like "The only thing I would have to fear would be exposure".

Alternatives for Exposed to could be:

  • Experience - Kids benefit from experience with a wide variety of cultures and lifestyles
  • Subject - Workers at Chernobyl were subject to high radiation levels
  • Reveal - I'm afraid the journalists will reveal my identity

To expose someone or something to a thing is to put the person or that something in a position where the thing can influence them or affect them in some way.

Do not expose the biscuits to air or they will go stale.

When paint is exposed to the sun the color fades.

A child exposed to music at an early age may become a musician.

We you travel to a foreign land, you are exposed to a new culture.

"ex" means "out" and "pose" is related to "position". The meaning is to put something out (where it can be affected in some way).

This locution is a passive construction. The transitive verb is expose.

Expose the wound to air so it may heal better. active voice

The wound was exposed to air so it would heal better.passive voice

Therefore, to find a substitute for "be exposed to" it must also have this passive meaning. Being exposed to a thing is something that happens to the thing which has been exposed.

You might say

We were shown another culture.

I had never been shown another culture until I went overseas.

When you open yourself to other cultures, that is something you are doing on your own behalf, so it is not a perfect substitute for "be exposed to", yet it has a similar meaning of allowing yourself to be influenced.


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