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Here's what Charlie Rose said in a segment of CBS's 60 minutes titled "Amazon's Jeff Bezos looks to the future":

Bezos believes low costs ensure customer loyalty to Amazon, even if it's at the expense of profits. Amazon is one of the rare companies that on a quarterly basis shows little profit and yet is beloved by investors.

Is it also possible to use "loved" instead of "beloved" here?

Which is more natural in context? And Why?

Is there any difference between them, semantically and/or syntactically?

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Amazon is beloved by investors.

Amazon is loved by investors.

You can use either "loved" or "beloved" in the sentence, without any difference in meaning. But "beloved" is stronger than "loved"; "beloved" means "loved" very much.

Besides, "loved" is the past participle of love and the sentence is in the passive. On the other hand, "beloved" is an adjective; you can use the preposition "of" or "by" after it.

  • Is it possible to say "Amazon is very loved by investors"? If so, can't "loved" be also an adjective? – JK2 Jul 7 '16 at 8:18
  • Yes, you can say Amazon is very much loved by investors; loved is a verb here. – Khan Jul 7 '16 at 8:56
  • Loved as an adjective can be used, for example, Amazon is a loved company of investors. – Khan Jul 7 '16 at 9:05
  • Is only "Amazon is very much loved by investors" possible, but not "Amazon is very loved by investors"? – JK2 Jul 7 '16 at 9:10
  • Yes, we should use very much, not very. You can use very before an adjective such as he's very upset. – Khan Jul 7 '16 at 9:24
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Either

Amazon is beloved by investors.
Amazon is loved by investors.

can be used and it would easily be understood that investors have a positive affection for the stock.

However, "beloved" is a stronger and more intense feeling of love that may border on "worship".

She lost her beloved cat of 19 years.

Amazon is beloved by investors.
Amazon is worshipped by investors

there are some who would not disagree with this statement.

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Dictionary.com gives the following etymology for the English prefix be-, which can illustrate how the meaning is modified.

word-forming element with a wide range of meaning: completely; to make, cause seem; to provide with; at, on, to, for

from Old English be- "on all sides" (also used to make transitive verbs and as a privative or intensive prefix)

In the case of belove it's probably best to say it's an "intensive" prefix, so it means "to love very much."

Belove though is not used anymore as a verb with a subject/object by itself (very rarely, if at all), but the past-participle-as-adjective use lives on.

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