I'd always used "mistake(n) for" until today I came upon
you could easily be mistaken as one.
I wanted to see if it was correct or if it was a mistake so I looked into the matter and found:
- my dictionaries only give "mistake for".
The doctor mistook the symptoms for blood poisoning. (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)
You mustn't mistake lack of formal education for lack of wisdom. (Collins Cobuild)
Members of an army patrol mistook him for the gunman. ( BBC English Dictionary)
- A quick search on the internet showed "mistake(n) as" is quite common, but not as common as "mistaken for". This was confirmed by an Ngram.
I even found both on the same page:
Why getting mistaken for a native speaker is much easier than you think.
he has never in his life come across a language learner who is mistaken as a native the entire time
I really cannot perceive any difference at all in the meaning of mistaken as and mistaken for in these two sentences above.
I had the same feeling on that page, where both are used :
mistaken as 10 mg if the decimal point is not seen expressed in whole numbers
100000 has been mistaken for 10,000 or ....
That document is pretty consistent in the use of "mistaken as" except in a couple of places, so I thought it could be because of different collaborators having different speech habits.
- My browsing even led me to "mistaken with"
I somehow feel I could use for is these two sentences but not as but I'm at a loss to say why.
- Since apparently for, with, & as are used in after the verb "mistake" to mean we wrongly think something or someone is something else or someone else, can they be used indifferently ? If yes, are there nevertheless slight subtleties to be considered?
- Could difference in usage be a matter of regional habits (AmE vs BrE vs AusE etc.)?