A Japanese friend asked me this:

When I want to say that someone has influenced me, I can say "influenced by". When I am skeptical of someone or doubtful of someone, I can say, "skeptical of" and "doubtful of". Since "doubtful" and "skeptical" are both adjectives, would it be possible for me to say "I am influential of you"? I think you can because the word "influential" is an adjective."

Basically he is trying to ask me if "I am influenced by you" is the same as "I am influential of you". Although I have never really heard the latter phrase before, my friend seems to have a point with this one.

Even if it's not heard in professional writings or speech, do you think it could be used in a colloquial way?

  • Your post made absolutely zero sense until I realized you were using parentheses instead of quotation marks. Where have you seen that? Why are you doing it? Please don't do it. – RegDwigнt Jul 14 '15 at 14:17

No; the adjective influential applies to the person or thing that exerts the influence, not the person or thing being influenced:

Having great influence on someone or something:
her work is influential in feminist psychology [ODO]

For the meaning your friend seems to want, a good English expression might be something like “I follow your lead.”

  • To clarify for the OP, the sentence "I am influential of you" is saying that I influence you, not the other way around. It'd be more correct to say "you are influential of me," but that sounds funny. – Blubberguy22 Jul 14 '15 at 14:08
  • As ODO's example suggests, though, the usual construction is with the preposition on, not of. – Brian Donovan Jul 14 '15 at 14:10
  • Yes, but most people don't say it like that anyway. It'd be better to say something like "you influence me." – Blubberguy22 Jul 14 '15 at 14:11
  • I have found some websites that use "influential to" instead of "influential in". Can the former be accepted as grammatically correct as well? – Bryan Jones Jul 14 '15 at 14:23
  • 1
    Oops. Ngram and indeed the above ODO example favor in, above not only of and to but also on. – Brian Donovan Jul 14 '15 at 14:37

Influential is generally followed by in to refer to the level of influence on someone or something: (OLD)

  • having a lot of influence on somebody/something:
    • a highly influential book
  • influential in something
  • She is one of the most influential figures in local politics.
  • influential in doing something
  • The committee was influential in formulating government policy on employment.

The preposition of is used to refer to those who exert influence:

  • The most famous and influential of the philosopher-scientists was...

I am influential to you

that would be the correct way to say it.

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