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She is popular with the young people.

Why use "with" here?

How should I understand the preposition "with" in this context?

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  • This should be a good starting point: macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/with, sense 5. Commented May 27, 2015 at 9:23
  • Do you mean the following:used for saying what causes someone or something to be in a particular state. e.g.:The children were already weak with exhaustion. The air was thick with smoke.
    – user48070
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 9:40
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    Can I say " she is popular among young people"?
    – user48070
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 9:41
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    I rechecked sense 5 once again, and I don't think it really fits. Sorry about that. (The definition seems to suggest a bit different sense of with. Prepositions of English are usually like this. They're very flexible and it's usually not a good idea to explain it with a rigid definition.) As for "be popular among", you definitely can. (And so as with.) Commented May 27, 2015 at 9:44
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    I think we're on shaky ground referring people to dictionaries for the "meaning" of prepositions. None of the dictionaries linked in these comments is at all helpful in this case; none of them suggests anything like OP's among, which is exactly what is wanted. Commented May 27, 2015 at 12:56

2 Answers 2

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If you look up the preposition "with" in a dictionary, you will find that it's used in different senses. Amongst them, it also means "concerning, regarding, or in connection with". For example, "she's angry with me". We usually use this preposition in this sense with the adjective popular. However, we can also use "among" instead of "with" with popular.

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  • I agree: prepositions can only be understood in context. With can mean a lot of different things, at least translated into German. It is often easier to learn and translate verb+preposition or adjective+preposition.
    – user19980
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 19:29
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The English preposition with has some uses which for non-native learners are a bit astonishing as they are different from the basic meaning of "with".

The basic meaning of with is indicating the instrument as in

  1. I could open the door with my key.

But "with" can indicate other things, eg cause/ why?

  1. The children jumped with joy.

"with" + person/s can be a where-indication.

  1. I left the key with my neighbour/with the Smiths.

"with" is a preposition that learners should study in a larger dictionary and see which uses of "with" are normal for them and which uses are different from the use in their mother tongue.

The entry with in Longman's DCE has 23 numbers. http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/with In number 15 and 16 "with" is used as a where-indication. (This use should have more examples.)

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