I wished to know the prepositions that we can use with Pandora's box when individuals deal with the impact of this .For example in the sentence, "Maria opened a Pandora's box_________Kelly", which preposition should we place in the blank.What preposition should we use here for people receiving an action.

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    What is the relationship of the box to Kelly? It would be grammatically correct to say "Maria opened a Pandora's box FOR Kelly", or "... WITH Kelly", or "... IN Kelly", or many other words, but all mean different things. Please clarify what you're trying to say.
    – Jay
    Jul 17, 2014 at 15:24
  • If the box spells something negative for Kelly how can we use the word 'for' or 'with'. For example in the sentence "Maria opened a Pandora's box at Kelly's wedding when she arrived at her wedding with Kelly ex-boyfriend", Iam using 'at' for an event what should be the preposition for people.
    – asterisk
    Jul 17, 2014 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


If you're trying to say that Maria caused problems for Kelly, you could say, "Maria opened a Pandora's Box FOR Kelly when she arrived at her wedding with Kelly's ex-boyfriend." "For" here means that Kelly was the target or recipient of the Pandora's Box.

  • But I heard that 'for' is used when a person is getting benefited by an action.Here Maria is harming the image of Kelly.
    – asterisk
    Jul 17, 2014 at 15:43
  • @RAFATH, If "harming the image" is what you're intending to convey, then "Pandora's Box" might be a confusing reference.
    – wordsmythe
    Jul 17, 2014 at 17:32
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    @RAFATH There is no rule that "for" can be only be used when someone is being benefitted. This misunderstanding is what's causing trouble for you. Jul 17, 2014 at 20:10
  • @RAFATH - I have some bad news for you: the preposition for isn't only used when dealing with positive benefits.
    – J.R.
    Jul 18, 2014 at 0:17
  • Ditto Nigelharper. It's very common to say, "This caused trouble for Kelly", "This was bad news for Kelly", etc. I think you're getting confused by two different definitions of "for". It can mean "in favor of", like "I am for the motion made by Senator Smith and against the amendment proposed by Senator Jones." But it can also mean "affecting" or "relating to", as here. "For" -- like many prepositions -- has about 20 different possible meanings depending on context.
    – Jay
    Jul 18, 2014 at 14:40

It sounds strange to me to follow the expression "to open Pandora's Box" with anything meant to direct the effects towards someone. When you "open Pandora's Box," I think it implies that the effects are felt in a more global sense--not just by one person. I searched for the expression followed with some of these prepositions on Google NGrams and it didn't come up with any.

If you were adamant about making this sentence work, I think, in addition to "for," "on" would be an appropriate preposition to follow the expression "to open Pandora's Box."


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