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I am curious as to whether abundant in is a more correct usage than abundant with?

For example, the sentence: "The mail room is abundant in letters" seems to have the same meaning when compared to "the mail room is abundant with letters"

I did some search, and it seems like this source suggests that abundant in is used more often; however, no one seemed to disprove the usage of abundant with, either.

Is one of them the preferred usage in some scenario, or are they both correct in general?

  • Your example sentence is something no native English speaker would ever say. – David Aug 14 at 18:46
  • I can't see this without thinking of Shrek describing the swamp..."... It's in an... enchanted forest, abundant in squirrels, and cute little duckies." – Cascabel Aug 14 at 20:30
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Your example is a bit weird, but both prepositions are correct. See the following examples from well-respected dictionaries (my boldface):

2 b : amply supplied: ABOUNDING
// an area abundant with bird life
Merriam-Webster

2. Having an abundance of something; abounding: a region abundant in wildlife.
American Heritage Dictionary (via FreeDictionary)

Now the website you looked at does say that abundant in is a lot more common than abundant with. But note that all the examples of abundant in there are of the type “lions are abundant in the crater”, and what you’re interested in are things like the crater is abundant in lions versus the crater is abundant with lions.

But if you look at this Google Ngram you’ll see that, for instance, abundant with wildlife is more common than abundant in wildlife; whereas this other Ngram shows than area abundant in and area abundant with are about as common of late, and both are a lot less common than abundant in the area, which explains the results in your website.

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One potential answer is why should we seek to simplify language, and a second is why should we consider any string of words a phrase?

Consider:

Use abundant in a sentence

Use abundant with other other words like...

Which leaves us with the question: '...abundant in/with letters', where the choice of preposition may either be the author's preference or an attempt by the author to build a specific image for us.

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