I read a sentence which was:

Maricha changed himself into a charming golden deer with surpassing beauty.

Could there be "of" instead of "with"?

2 Answers 2


In addition to @CowperKettle's answer:

I'd also asked if the preposition "with" is used absolutely incorrectly here. Bearing in mind the possible date of the earlier translations of the Ramayana epics into English, I wouldn't be too sure of that. Besides, the beauty of the deer was something not related to Miracha himself, and one of the meanings of "with" is "having (something)".


Of course it should be of surpassing beauty. The preposition with would indicate that he used "surpassing beauty" as a tool in order to change himself into a deer.

  • @Rompey - you could write a more detailed answer. I didn't occur to me that this was from an epic. Mar 3, 2019 at 10:04
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    If the phrase occurred earlier in the sentence ("Maricha changed himself with surpassing beauty into a charming golden deer.") then the phrase would clearly modify "changed", but as is it's at worst less natural sounding than "of". Replace "surpassing beauty" with "great antlers", and nobody would think the antlers were a tool rather an end result.
    – chepner
    Mar 3, 2019 at 13:32
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    I don't think this is correct at all. If "he turned himself into a deer with two heads", you wouldn't claim that he somehow used two heads to turn himself into a deer. Mar 3, 2019 at 17:25
  • @DavidRicherby - "two heads" is different semantically from "surpassing beauty". Mar 3, 2019 at 17:27
  • Well, I may be wrong of course. Mar 3, 2019 at 17:38

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