This is the original sentence I wrote:

She seems fascinated with her married life.

But my proofreader thinks that "with" should be changed into "by":

She seems fascinated by her married life.

I noticed that someone else asked a similar question before, but it seems like not much has been solved. (When are you "fascinated with" something, and when are you "fascinated by" it?)

Does anyone has any ideas?

  • 2
    Get a better proofreader. The answer you reference is itself a reference to an unsupported claim that with is used with fascinating tangible things and by is used with fascinating non-tangible things. This is not what the Ngram viewer finds. – deadrat Aug 21 '16 at 6:16
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    Or you could avoid the whole thing by rewording—for example: "She seems to find her married life fascinating." – Sven Yargs Aug 21 '16 at 7:42

I have found some useful resources for my question:

"Fascinated by" and "fascinated with" are very much interchangeable, but when saying that you are attracted to someone's charm, you would say "fascinated by (him or her)".

This is an excerpt from "Collins Cobuild English Usage".


Additionally to your own find I can offer the popularity results from google books. This ngram and this one show that fascinated by seems to be generally a lot more popular that fascinated with.

The in depth searches (by, with) show that you are already on the right track. While the difference for fascinating ideas is times two, it is a factor of five when referring to charms.

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