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(1) Margarine can substitute for butter in this recipe.

(2) Butter can be substituted with margarine in this recipe.

(3) Margarine can be substituted for butter in this recipe.

Can all these sentences be read as “margarine can take the place of butter in this recipe.”?

Instead of active/passive voice, is the preposition the mainest factor to determine the direction of relationship? Are there many verbs like “substitute” in this regard?

Thank you.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Very interesting and instructive!

Thank you!
Hi,

<'With' is substandard.>

Can you point me to a source that officially states that sub-standardness?

My Canadian Oxford Paperback Dictionary, in the entry for 'substitute', notes that

Use with the prepositions 'by' or 'with' should be avoided in standard English.

Best wishes again, Clive
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Clive
My Canadian Oxford Paperback Dictionary, in the entry for 'substitute', notes that

Use with the prepositions 'by' or 'with' should be avoided in standard English.

Best wishes again, Clive

Strange how AskOxford.com should give this then:

— USAGE Traditionally, substitute is followed by for and means ‘put (someone or something) in place of another’, as in she substituted the fake vase for the real one. It may also be used with with or by to mean ‘replace (something) with something else’, as in she substituted the real vase with the fake one. This can be confusing, since the two sentences shown above mean the same thing, yet the object of the verb and the object of the preposition have swapped positions. Despite the potential confusion, the second, newer use is acceptable, although still disapproved of by some people.

............

Is your paperback copy very old?
Interesting. "Substitute with" it's mentioned, thus standard, in this reference:
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substitute

1 a : to put in the place of another : EXCHANGE <substitute a new technique for the old one> b : to introduce (as an atom or group) by substitution <substitute sulfur for oxygen in a molecule>
2 obsolete : to invest with delegated authority : designate as a delegate
3 : to replace with another <substitute yesterday's steady opinions with the latest fancies> <names like Jane are always substituted by the pronoun she -- R.A.Hall b. 1911>
4 : to nominate (a person) to take a remainder -- compare SUBSTITUTION 1a(3)


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Thank you, Clive, Milky & Marius Hancu

I vote for that “note of avoidance”. It could reduce trouble and misreading.

But I'm wondering why the contents of the publications of the same publisher just wouldn't agree with one another. Mayby they don't care. It's very inconvenient
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MapleThank you, Clive, Milky & Marius Hancu

I vote for that “note of avoidance”. It could reduce trouble and misreading.

But I'm wondering why the contents of the publications of the same publisher just wouldn't agree with one another. Mayby they don't care. It's very inconvenient

Hi Maple,

You said "But I'm wondering why the contents of the publications of the same publisher just wouldn't agree with one another".

This is my observation. A lot of English materials we write and read are subject to the interpretation of the person who has learned, perhaps, from different teachers at different places and time. If we search for the same word on line, we may get a slight difference in the answers.

Even in this forum, we at times may have slightly different view on the answers. Emotion: big smile

MapleThank you, Clive, Milky & Marius Hancu

I vote for that “note of avoidance”. It could reduce trouble and misreading.

But I'm wondering why the contents of the publications of the same publisher just wouldn't agree with one another. Mayby they don't care. It's very inconvenient

It could be that Clive's copy is quite old.
Hi,

Published by OUP in 2000. I won it in a newpaper humour competition. I haven't been funny enough to win another, yet.

I wouldn't think this phrase would have changed a lot in 6 years, but who knows. That's why I checked Google and found, as I said before,

substitute with = 509,000 hits

substitute for = 77,800,000 hits

Personally, if the waiter tells me that carrots are substituted with peas tonight, I won't know which is substituted for which. I guess I just gotta get out and mix with the ordinary people more.

Best wishes, Clive
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<Personally, if the waiter tells me that carrots are substituted with peas tonight, I won't know which is substituted for which. I guess I just gotta get out and mix with the ordinary people more.>

Or by a better dictionary. Emotion: wink
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