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|English term or phrase: He was replaced BY or replaced WITH ?|
|Help me !!! I have always thought the verb replace should be used with the preposition BY. This morning I was reading a comic strip saying "I SHOULD HAVE AGREED WITH MY BOSS MORE OFTEN. TODAY HE REPLACED ME WITH A BOBBLEHEAD DOLL"... |
Is it correct???
Thanks for your help.
|she replaced me WITH ...|
Your example (TODAY HE REPLACED ME WITH A BOBBLEHEAD DOLL) is in the active. Correct usage prefers ‘with’ to ‘by’ in the active, e.g. We are replacing all the old computers with new ones.
However, the active has been influenced so much by the passive construction that ‘by’ has been acceptable for a long time.
From the OED: 1899 Westm. Gaz. The officials [in New York] intend to dismiss the large force of office boys in the various departments and replace them by office girls.
From American Heritage: “A conspiracy was carefully engineered to replace the Directory by three Consuls” (H.G. Wells)
Some Google statistics, for what they’re worth:
“replaced them by” 28,300 hits
“replaced them with” 528,000 hits
“replace them by” 114,000 hits
“replace them with” 1,620,000 hits
“he replaced me with” 883 hits
“he replaced me by” 2 valid hits
With the exception of cases such as “I replaced them by disconnecting their terminals”, “by” could probably always be replaced by “with”.
When the verb is passive, with the thing that is replaced as the subject, ‘by’ is used more often:
All the old computers have been replaced by new ones.
More Google statistics:
“was replaced by” 5,110,000 hits
“was replaced with” 1,770,000 hits
However, in a passive sentence where it is necessary to use ‘by’ to denote an agent, ‘with’ must be used before the name of the thing that is substituted:
All the old computers have been replaced by the management with new ones.
(Main source for this: Current English Usage, F T Wood)
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Local time: 23:52
|Thank you, Nick. Your explanation was all I needed. |
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|he was replaced by or replaced with ? |
replaced by and replaced with
According to Benson, Morton - The BBI Combinatory Dictionary of English,John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 1993, both forms are acceptable.