Hi everyone!

I am confused about using “surprised at”, “surprised about” and “surprised by."

I've been trying to know better about them, and found some “rules” on discussion forums, but I would like to make sure that they are valid for native English speakers. Could you please help me with this?

Rule 1.

surprised at: away from the surprised person

surprised by: toward the surprised person

(discussion source: http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/SurprisedAtByEtc/lxng/post.htm )

Q1: Is this rule valid for “most of the native English-speaker”?

Rule 2.

surprised at: suggest something has happened contrary to the way you expected

surprised by: suggests something you were not expecting at all.

-- they are largely interchangeable but the expression 'to be surprised at someone' - often expressing disappointment with their behavior - is usually always with 'at' rather than 'by'.

(discussion source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080622071612AATGUmY )

Q2: Is this rule valid for “most of the native English-speaker”?

Q3: If it’s valid, can I use it for “events” too?

I could hardly find any discussion about “surprised about,” it is also the least use one. However, I noticed that people are more likely to use it seem when posting oneself’s opinions informally (on a forum, for example).

Q4: Do you have any comment on the usage of “surprised about?”

Q5: Does what I noticed mean that “surprised about” is a less formal expression, compared to “surprised at” and “surprised by”?

Q6: Is there any other rule in your mind, or any suggestion on the usage of these expressions?

Many thanks in advance!

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Comments  (Page 2) 
hat teal 762

I am surprised with his behaviour.

'surprised' is almost never followed by 'about' or 'with'.

Use 'at' or 'by'.