English One-Point Lesson: Surprised at, by/with, & that

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

Surprised is an adjective and is usually followed by at, by/with, or that.

My friend Joe sent me a strange email about his cat. He usually never sends emails!

  • I was surprised at Joe.
  • I was surprised by Joe’s email.
  • I was surprised that Joe sent me an email.

You can be surprised at a person when they do something unexpected or unusual for them:

  • I’m surprised at Joe. He never sends emails.
  • I’m surprised at my boss. He gave us the afternoon off and he never did that before.

You can be surprised by/with a thing or a situation

  • I’m surprised by the service at this restaurant. It is never this slow.
  • I’m surprised with the exhibition. I didn’t think it would be so good.

You can use a sentence with that after surprised:

  • I’m surprised that there was so much snow today. The forecast said “flurries.”
  • I’m surprised that Jane stayed so late at the party. She said she was tired.

What have you been surprised by recently? Have you been surprised at someone recently?

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