2

It strikes me that the way we use 'with' is more complex than we may think. So I have two questions:

  • Can the preposition 'with' be used to mean 'about' or 'in relation to'? (sentence a and b). And also:
  • Can the preposition 'with' be used as 'among' (sentence b)

a) ... because in a moment, we need to get back to my point with Eliot

b) He has become very popular with the people

c) The world has not responded in ways similar to what we have seen with other crises like the Hawaiian earthquake

These sentences are taken from public lectures 'with' well established writers and political commentators.

  • First point, 'about' would be sentence 'c' and sentence 'a' is neither in this context. 'a' would be functioning to join the speaker and Eliot to the same point. – David Nov 16 '14 at 18:29
  • @David: Thank you. And would 'b' be 'among' as I think? – asef Nov 16 '14 at 18:30
  • That is correct. – David Nov 16 '14 at 18:31
  • Thank you. I see you study linguistics. I would REALLY appreciate it if would share with me a book on prepositions that dead with nuances like these. I am not a beginner, though. – asef Nov 16 '14 at 18:33
  • 1
    The trouble with little words like this is they often don't have very clearly defined meanings that can be exhaustively listed and learned. The exact nature of the relationship between the point, popularity, response to Eliot, the people, other crises may vary according to context/pragmatics. But in all cases the "primary" element could in principle stand alone, without the benefit of the supporting (almost parenthetical) reference. But OP's final sentence doesn't quite work - it should be from well established writers..., even if the repetition is a bit ugly. – FumbleFingers Nov 16 '14 at 21:05
1

It strikes me that the way we use 'with' is more complex than we may think.

Oh, no, on the contrary. I would suspect with to be very complex. Most little prepositions are. The word on may be one of the most complex words in English. You can start to appreciate the complexity of with by having a look at its Wordnik page, with dozens of definitions listed.

Can the preposition 'with' be used to mean 'about' or 'in relation to'?

With regards to your first question, the answer is: Yes, it can. See meaning #4.

Can the preposition 'with' be used as 'among'?

Since I am with friends, I'll answer question one, too. Yes, it can. See meaning #5 of among.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.