When someone makes us disappointed. What preposition should we use idiomatically? In other words what are we?

We are disappointed of him.


We are disappointed from him.


We are disappointed in him.



Of the list you provide, "in" is the most idiomatic, but there's also "disappointed by", "disappointed with", and "disappointed at" a person or persons.

You can, apparently, be "disappointed of" some expected result, which can include the actions of some person. However, to me this sounds formal and somewhat archaic, and I would never use use it.

As far as I know, "disappointed from" is not an idiomatic complement, although it may appear in an adjacent adverbial phrase:

He was a malcontent, never happy, always complaining, and essentially disappointed from dusk to dawn.

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  • I suppose disappointed of had more currency when it was thought to be syntactically analogous to proud, ashamed, afraid, fond, tired, unworthy... I must say it's striking that just a couple of centuries ago it was the second most common preposition to follow disappointed out of all your charted alternatives, but today it's by far the least common (and it just sounds "totally weird" to me, not merely "archaic" - something only a non-native speaker might come out with). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Dec 18 '18 at 16:12
  • @Andrew. I do not deny the increasing use of acceptable alternatives when referring to people. At this point, I remain adamant that 'in' is the best choice, although as you ngrams suggest, in a few decades my assessment may well be that it is one of several valid options. – Ross Murray Dec 18 '18 at 16:27
  • @FumbleFingers Why bother with what is clearly outside the lines? "disappointed of " is a no-go unless you're interested in historiical semantics....I think it gums up the works of a perfectly good answer, and, if you want to get into it, put up your own answer. – Lambie Dec 18 '18 at 16:57
  • @RossMurray Yes, I agree. Use "in", at least until you get familiar enough with the alternatives to understand their subtle nuance. – Andrew Dec 18 '18 at 18:51
  • Apart from it being an archaism, you need to look at the complement when of is used. It will be an intention, plan, scheme, or wish of some kind, not a person. It means to be kept from achieving something. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 18 '18 at 20:16

In this case, the phrase is "disappointed in him."

  • 1
    @Perplexed folks, There are a range of prepositions in different situations that can be used after 'disappinted', but 'in' is always used for disappointment in a person or group or persons. – Ross Murray Dec 18 '18 at 15:50
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    @RossMurray: It may be far less common, but I don't think you can say that I'm disappointed with you is somehow "incorrect". It's just a less common alternative preposition in such contexts. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Dec 18 '18 at 16:05

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