Consider these sentences:

  1. I have been bestowed this gift of being an involuntary mentor.
  2. I have been bestowed with this gift of being an involuntary mentor.
  3. I have been bestowed upon this gift of being an involuntary mentor.

These are just random examples.

My question is, when is it appropriate to use bestow with, bestow on/upon and bestow without any prepositions?

  • 1
    All such variants are effectively "mock-poetic", but I'd say bestowed isn't particularly common. Mostly what I hear is I have been blessed with the gift of being an involuntary mentor. And involuntary is a slightly odd choice there to modify mentor, since the speaker probably doesn't mean that he's an "unwilling" mentor - he just means he didn't actively seek to become a mentor (which is implied by being "gifted with a natural talent" for mentoring anyway). – FumbleFingers Jan 21 '18 at 14:24
  • Thanks for the reply! I agree it is not common, but we want to sound a bit "mock-poetic" from time to time, don't we? My main question is how to use "bestow", if "with" is necessary to include. For instance, The International Judo Club hereby bestow you (with) the green belt. Which is correct? – pilti Jan 22 '18 at 3:47
  • Your original example concerned metaphorically receiving a gift in a passive construction, where as this NGram shows blessed with the gift is vastly more common than bestowed with the gift. But for the revised context of your comment, perhaps We hereby bestow upon you the green belt (you do need a preposition). – FumbleFingers Jan 22 '18 at 13:17

The OED bestowed is only used with the prepositions 'on/upon'. You need, "The gift of being an involuntary mentor has been bestowed upon me." Note my new version sounds very sarcastic. It suggests you do not think it is not a "gift" at all, but an unwelcome burden.

  • Thanks! After some research, I couldn't find many examples of "bestowed with" although I thought I would. – pilti Jan 22 '18 at 3:54

There are two constructions using bestow:

S-V-receiver-"WITH"-thing. The king bestowed Sir John with the sword.
S-V-thing-"UPON" or "ON"-receiver. The king bestowed the sword upon Sir John.

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