Generally, I hear people refer to "things in nature." However, I heard someone say "things of nature."

Example: I am inspired by things of nature.

It seems grammatically and logically correct, but it sounds sort of wrong. I would think you would say, "I am inspired by things in nature."

Can someone please explain why we don't generally say "things of nature" or where my thinking is off?

  • 1
    My first impression: things of nature ~ (roughly means) "natural things"; things in nature ~ "things we can find or that exist in nature (like in the woods, ocean, etc.)". I'm not a native speaker, though, and this is just my first impression. Aug 5 '16 at 11:23

Although "nature" can refer to fauna and flora, I'd like to highlight this definition (from Oxford Dictionaries):

The physical force regarded as causing and regulating the phenomena of the world:
"it is impossible to change the laws of nature"
See also Mother Nature.

I would interpret "things of nature" to use this definition, and mean things such as rain, the winds, and so on. I'd probably also include geological features such as mountains and gorges and, like @Damkerng T. said, the oceans and woods (although the woods collectively, not the individual trees).

For "things in nature," I would understand that as the fauna and flora that live in, among, and with the natural forces and geological formations.

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