Am I fascinated with consumer technology or fascinated by it? What about a book, an object, or a philosophical idea?

2 Answers 2


With: If the object of the fascination is something that can be held, handled, or manipulated (Rubik's cube for example), then someone can be fascinated "with" it.

I was fascinated with his car.

By: If - for example - someone is reading an interesting article, they may be fascinated "by" it.

I was fascinated by her voice.

Source: Yahoo Answers.

  • What about a philosophical idea? This is a "thing", but not something you can hold. Or "consumer technology"? This is a class of things, so which does it fit in?
    – Ric Levy
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 15:12
  • I'll use by with both of them. They're ideas or concepts rather than being physical things. I checked Oxford, Webster and Longman. All were using examples using "by".
    – Manoochehr
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 15:16
  • 3
    What about Japan? Can I be both fascinated with Japan and fascinated by Japan because it's a thing and a whole bunch of ideas?
    – user85526
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 3:29

(i) "by" names the agent responsible for the action.

By is commonly the preposition whose object is the agent of the passive verb:

I was fascinated by her voice: This is the passive form of Her voice fascinated me.

(ii) "with" names the instrument that was used for/caused the action.

I was fascinated with his car. Here, fascinated is an adjective and "with his car" modifies fascinated.

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