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Hi people!

Which is the preposition that should follow "replaced", by or with? (When "replace" means "substitute").

Examples:

Employees were replaced with robots.

Weakness is replaced by stubbornness.

Welfare can be replaced by charity.

If both are possible, could you explain and give examples of each?

Thanks a lot!

Mara.
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Comments  
Hi again, Mara,

Which is the preposition that should follow "replaced", by or with? (When "replace" means "substitute"). Both are often possible and often used. However, I think there are differences with regard to the presence of an 'agent' of the action.

Employees were replaced with robots. Robots were clearly not the agent. Soemone else did the replacing. In fact, you could say Employees were replaced with robots by the President of the company.

Tom was fired. He was replaced by Fred. It's unclear if Fred did the firing, or if Fred is the new employee who is now doing Tom's job.

Weakness is replaced by stubbornness. OK

Welfare can be replaced by charity. Ok

But here, it sounds a bit like there is no agent, for example, that welfare 'automatically leads' to charity. It's like saying 'war is followed by peace', 'night is followed by day'. It sounds 'automatic, with no agent'.

Best wishes, Clive
Still not clear. English being a second language, this is very difficult to understand. If you would, please, provide a few more examples where "with" or "or" is used in a sentense it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

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Hi,
As I said in 2005, Both are often possible and often used.

Why don't you write a few sentences, and I'll tell you if they sound OK?

Best wishes, Clive
replaced on - mistake ?
Hi,
Yes, it's a mistake, unless you just want to say something like 'My TV was replaced on Friday.'

Best wishes, Clive
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nice to know. thanks! I used that form all the time Emotion: smile)
Thanks - helpful to me too
In this case, Clive is incorrect.

"Tom was fired. He was replaced BY Fred."

In this example, "with" would not be used, regardless of the "agent" of the action (and no singular quotation marks for words that are not contained within quotes, Clive!).

Many scholars agree that "by" and "with" are often interchangeable, so you can use your discretion.
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