Prepositions can be thrown in after a word we’re already familiar with to change the meaning. It isn’t obvious if you notice multiple different prepositions coming after a word what meaning should follow each one. These prepositions seem to change the meaning slightly, so we thought we’d cover the differences between “impressed with” and “impressed by” (if there are any at all).
Should I Use Impressed With Or Impressed By?
You should use “impressed with” when talking about being “impressed with” something or an activity. You should use “impressed by” when talking about being “impressed by” someone. In either case, both are interchangeable with each other, and it depends entirely on the speaker or the writer which they prefer. However, the original rules state that you’re “impressed with” a thing and “impressed by” a person.
When Should I Use Impressed With
Now that we’ve got the main idea behind using impressed with or by out of the way, it’s time to look at it in detail. We’ll start with “impressed with” to see what we should expect. You will generally be “impressed with” something rather than with an actual person, as we stated above. The typical object that follows “impressed with” is often intangible (meaning you can’t touch it), though you can also be “impressed with” inanimate objects.
The easiest way to help you remember whether you should use the “with” preposition after the word “impressed” is whether the thing is alive. We also say “impressed with” when we’re not referring to a person or an animal. However, using both “impressed with” or “impressed by” interchangeably if you prefer one over the other is possible. We’ll touch more on that in just a second.
5 Examples Of How To Use Impressed With
Before we move on to using “impressed by,” let’s first check out some examples of using “impressed with.” We find that learning from examples is an excellent way to pick up language rules much quicker. You’ll get a taste for exactly how you should use the phrase in a sentence which makes it much easier for you to eventually use yourself when the time comes that you might have to use the saying.
- I’m really impressed with the school’s performance.
- We’re impressed with your attitude lately.
- He was impressed with how I dressed today.
- You are impressed by his behavior.
- I am impressed by the new curriculum.
In each of these examples, you’ll see that we’re referring to something we can’t touch. Whether it’s a “performance,” “attitude,” “behavior,” or something else, if we can’t touch it, then we usually always use “with” after “impressed to indicate that.
When Should I Use Impressed By?
Now that we’ve got “impressed with” sorted, let’s look at the other option, “impressed by.” As we’ve said already, “impressed by” is reserved for living and breathing things, as we can be “impressed by” someone. However, there is the grey area where we mentioned earlier that both phrases can be used in place of each other and still mean the same thing. No native speaker will call you out for incorrect grammar either way.
If we say which one is more common, people generally prefer saying “impressed by” for everything. They are “impressed by a school’s performance” just as easily as they are “impressed by Billy.” Either way, both are used all the time. For the purposes of this article, though, we’ll make it easier for you and separate the two. This way, you’ll be able to learn the intended meaning of each one.
Language grows and develops over time, so while the phrases once meant something else, they both mean similar things. Let’s imagine for this article that they’re both separate phrases again and test what you learn later!
5 Examples Of How To Use Impressed By
Okay, so back to the point about being “impressed by” someone, we’ll cover a few examples to help you out. We mentioned above how important we find examples to help someone get a better understanding of the language. Now, we’ll look at how we can be “impressed by” things, but you’ll notice the major difference between the two as we continue through the examples.
- I’m impressed by you.
- You’re impressed by Billy, aren’t you?
- I am impressed by her.
- He was impressed by me.
- She was impressed by the teacher.
Synonyms For “Impressed”
There is one last thing we’ll cover before we get to the quiz, and that is synonyms for the word “impressed.” If you’re struggling to grasp the meaning of a word or word rather than have to worry about the preposition rules that come after it, then a synonym is a great way to alternate your language skills. You can get comfortable using one of these words instead and never worrying about accidentally getting the rules wrong!
We can be “influenced by” things, though we typically aren’t “influenced with” anything, so this is a good replacement without the rule problem.
Again, we are “inspired by” things and people, but we are never “inspired with.”
Yet again, “by” is the only acceptable preposition of the two after “excited.”
This one is less common, but it’s still a good replacement should you need to use it (or if you like the look of the word).
We are typically dazzled by people rather than things, so this is a good replacement for “impressed by” rather than “impressed with.”
Quiz: Have You Mastered The Impressed With Or Impressed By Grammar?
Let’s finish up with a quiz to see what you’ve learned. We’ll keep the two phrases separate here to give you different answers. Otherwise, the quiz would be too easy if we said they both mean the same thing!
- I was (A. impressed with / B. impressed by) him.
- She was (A. impressed with / B. impressed by) my work ethic.
- I am (A. impressed with / B. impressed by) your experience.
- You are (A. impressed with / B. impressed by) him, aren’t you?
- Are you (A. impressed with / B. impressed by) what I’ve shown you?
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.