When expressing excitement, some people say “Excited About”, while others use the form “Excited By”. We have so many questions about it!
Are “Excited About” and “Excited By” synonyms? Do they mean different things? When should we use each form? We want to know the differences. So, let’s do this!
Excited About or Excited By – Which Is Correct?
“Excited About” and “Excited By” are correct. To be “Excited” is to be very happy and enthusiastic about something. Use “Excited By” when there’s a very specific cause for your enthusiasm. And use “Excited About” when your excitement exists for a broader reason, larger than one single thing.
Take a look at the examples below:
- Martha was excited by the movie.
- Martha was excited about going to the movie.
- Laura is always excited by animals.
- Laura is always excited about working with animals and her career.
Both sets of examples reflect the same idea. The first sentence in each set tells us someone is “Excited By” something. Martha was excited by a movie she wanted to see, while Laura is excited by animals.
When constructed like this, those sentences tell us that Martha was enthusiastic about the movie – maybe it was the story, or a particular actor or actress.
The case in point is that for Martha, it was the movie. Not the company, nor the snacks. She was laser-focused on the movie, and that’s what excited her.
The second sentence in each set changes the scope by saying the ladies were “Excited About” something else. Martha is “Excited About” going to the movies, for example – in other words, she was looking forward to the whole experience, and not only the movie itself.
Laura, on the other hand, is “Excited About” her career working with animals. In those contexts, the excitement comes from many different things and is centered on an individual’s passion. It’s not about one animal or one experience, but a whole life to look forward to.
To be “Excited About” is to be happy and enthusiastic about something. People can be “Excited About” many things but, usually, they’re “Excited About” something that moves them. Ultimately, the individual is the source of excitement, not the things they’re excited about.
Take a look at the examples below:
- Are you excited about going to college?
- I’m always very excited about visiting new places.
- Paul is excited about the party next weekend.
- We were very excited about seeing our favorite artists in concert at the festival
- Gabriel was excited about getting a new bike.
- Luana is so excited about her new job and all the opportunities that will come from it.
To say “Excited About” leaves the door open for the many possibilities. Because the person is “Excited About” something larger, there are many good things that life can bring.
For example, in sentence 5, it’s not the new bike that does it for Gabriel, but all the things he can do when the new bike arrives: riding, playing, trying new tricks, etc.
People are “Excited By” very specific things. In this case, for this form, it’s not about all the possibilities, but that specific thing that is causing the excitement. When you’re “Excited By” something, your excitement has a very specific source.
Let’s go over some examples:
- I was excited by the prospect of leading the project.
- Joanna was excited by my words.
- Clara was excited by the cat and couldn’t focus on anything else.
- The dog was always excited by the word “walk”.
- Nerve fibers are excited by a local stimulus.
“Excited About” and “Excited By” can sometimes overlap in meaning and be used interchangeably. The question is what are you trying to convey. Also, how specific do you wish to be in your speech?
“Excited For” should be used when you’re excited on someone else’s behalf. In this instance, it’s not about you or what makes you excited. The center of the attention is someone you care about.
Let’s see some examples:
- I’m so excited for you and your date tonight.
- Anna called and said she was excited for you.
- Christopher was excited for Paul and the trip he was going to make.
- Mary was excited for Nia’s first day of school.
- He was excited for the show to start.
Which Is Used the Most?
Which one of those forms is used more often, “Excited About”, “Excited By”, or “Excited For”? We’ll find out by looking at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below.
“Excited About” has been the prevalent form since 1995. People say “Excited About” more than they say the other expressions.
It’s also interesting to realize that “Excited By” was the most used form until that point in time, and lost the top spot because “Excited About” started to trend as a word and grew – if you look closely, “Excited By” has always had the same roughly usage over the years.
“Excited For” is the least used form, but seems to be increasing in usage, especially after 2000.
“Excited About” and “Excited By” are correct forms. They can sometimes work as synonyms and interchange, but there’s a difference. Use “Excited By” when the subject’s source of excitement is a very specific thing, and use “Excited About” when the source for the subject is a broader reason for enthusiasm.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.