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I'm proofreading an application and there is this sentence I'm a bit sceptical about:


"Apart from that, I have the ability to enthuse myself and others with something new."


Wouldn't it be better to say "enthuse for" instead of "enthuse with" or to rewrite the sentence like

"...I have the ability to get myself and others enthusiastic about new things." ?

I've searched for "enthuse for/with" and according to google ngram "with" is more common than "for", which seems to correlate with what I found in the cambride dictionary (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/enthuse). The problem might be simply solved by exchanging "enthuse with" for "inspire for", but I also really want to know which preposition comes along with "enthuse".

Thank you in advance.

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  • “To enthuse” is uncommon and a little strange. Your other approaches are better, I think.
    – Xanne
    Aug 24 '20 at 9:33
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https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/enthuse give examples of the two usual uses. One definition coincides with your first use. "He was passionately interested in classical music but failed to enthuse his children (with it)".

Although the verb "to enthuse" is originally a back-formation (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_back-formations) from the noun "enthusiasm", it now behaves as a regular and accepted verb, and there is no need to revert to circumlocutions involving "enthusiasm".

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    but does the term "enthuse with" really express the same meaning as "inspire for"? Let's have a look at these two examples: #1 "I enthused her with my cooking skills" #2 "She enthused me for a cooking contest". The cambridge dictionary somehow implies that "enthuse" requires "with" in any circumstances, that's why they kept the prepostion in bold, but using "with" in example #2 would let me think that she organised the cooking contest to enthuse me.
    – Ben Es
    Aug 24 '20 at 13:56
  • Useful comment. Isn't language fun!
    – Anton
    Aug 24 '20 at 14:02

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