Based on these:






I can say the following sentences are correct (please correct me if I am wrong):

  1. The interests of the child are of paramount importance.
  2. This is of great importance to society.
  3. This book is of interest to children.
  4. This strategy is of benefit for company.
  5. He was of assistance to me in researches for my books.
  6. He is of great help to the poor.
  7. This tool is of use to repair a car.

The question:

Can I generalize the structure of "be + of (+ adjective) + noun (+ to)" to every other noun as well or this structure is idiomatic and only goes with some special nouns?

For example are these sentences correct:

  1. He is of regard to me.
  2. People who litter are of no respect.
  3. This book is of boredom to me.
  4. Your whispers are of distraction to me.
  5. Your acts are of fear to me.

A complementary question:

Is this structure colloquial and common in speech? It seems to me that this structure is more of a literary structure.

2 Answers 2


No, sentences 8 - 12 are not correct. You could say Your whispers are a distraction to me, otherwise you need to completely re-word them.

Yes, the structure is fairly formal. In everyday conversation we would usually say that something is important rather than is of importance.


No, this construction is only used with a limited selection of abstract nouns, mostly to do with how we think about or evaluate things.

You gave the example importance and interest. Others are concern, relevance, significance.

But none of your later examples work.

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