I'm trying to say that the linguists were "astounded at his progress":

The eminent linguists who were teaching him were staggered by his remarkable progress. They were the ones learning from him before long, so it was only natural.

Also, should it be "staggered by" or "staggered at"?

1 Answer 1


The usage is correct (definition 2a: to overwhelm with emotion or astonishment), and both staggered by and staggered at seem to be correct.

  • 3
    In my experience, "staggered by" is vastly more common than "staggered at".
    – Martha
    May 18, 2013 at 4:25
  • @Martha According to Google Ngrams, at is at a historical low: about a quarter as often as by. "Vastly" more common is perhaps an exaggeration. May 18, 2013 at 12:04

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