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Hi

I am surrounded by my friends.

That 'surrounded,' is it a past participle of the passive structure, or an adjective?

I am surrounded with my friends.
I am surrounded by my friends.

Do these sentences convey differerent ideas?

Thanks.
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IMHO this would be a classic example of an expression which may be taken as passive voice or predicate adjective without consequence.

The use of "with" would be less likely to include a "friendly intervention," such as hauling you forcibly off to the drug rehab.
Emotion: smile Thanks, Avi

With 'by,' we expres a state;with 'with' an action, right?
Drug rehab? [Y]
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AvangiThe use of "with" would be less likely to include a "friendly intervention," such as hauling you forcibly off to the drug rehab.
Hi Avangi

I don't sense that sort of difference at all. First of all, I would say that "surrounded by" is by far the more common wording.
My own gut feeling says that any use of "with" would tend to be suggestive of a looser sort of "surrounded by" -- i.e. perhaps the boundaries are somewhat less clearly defined.
Yankee use of "with" would tend to be suggestive of a looser sort of "surrounded by" -- i.e. perhaps the boundaries are somewhat less clearly defined.
Hi, Amy.
I agree with this part. (That's why you're not worried they're about to grab you.)

I have this feeling that "with" suggests they're present in a supportive role, and that "you" are not just one of the gang, on this particular occasion.

I'll grant that "by" would be more popular in a death-bed scene.

I think "with" would be more appropriate if a rival gang were about to do harm to you personally.
Ah, now I see what you were driving at, Avangi.

One more thing my gut feeling is telling me is that I don't think I would ever actually say "I am surrounded with my friends." To me, that sounds awkward and unnatural. I'd be more likely to use "surrounded with" in a sentence such as this: "I am surrounded with love".
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AnonymousI am surrounded by my friends.

That 'surrounded,' is it a past participle of the passive structure, or an adjective?
This is not likely to be a passive structure unless it means that your friends habitually get into a group and perform the action of approaching you from all directions and coming to stand or sit around you, and native speakers would almost never think of that sort of action when reading this sentence.

It's an adjective.

CJ
Anonymous With 'by,' we expres a state;with 'with' an action, right?
Better suspend judgement, Anon. I think CJ is saying we shouldn't use "to surround" transitively. I'll have to try to think this through.

If by "state" you're referring to the adjective use and by "action" you're referring to the verb use, then, no, that isn't exactly what I was trying to convey. I think "by" is the preposition favored in passive transformations. "Jack loves Mary." "Mary is loved by Jack."

I was thinking of an active voice sentence, such as "My friends surround me," and thinking this could undergo a passive transformation such as, "I am surrounded by/with my friends." My remarks about "with" vs. "by" were based strictly on experience. I realize now that only "by" may be used in such transformations.

But I think CJ is objecting to the use of the verb, saying that friends would not perform such an action, active or passive.

Edit. Yankee, I guess "with my friends" does sound a little awkward.

For some reason, when I read that sentence (OP) I immediately pictured my grandfather's huge (so it seemed at the time) dining room table at Thanksgiving time, with more cousins than I can now remember. My grandmother always invited a few homeless people as well. Somehow "with friends" felt appropriate. I think "surrounded by friends" would place me with the turkey.
I don't think Jim is saying that the verb "surround" cannot be used transitively. I think his point was that the past participle "surrounded" tends to function as an adjective. I think that is probably true especially in the simple present tense.
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