Here's the context:

So has gone the reaction of many to the news that Facebook is buying the mobile photo-sharing service Instagram[.]

Could "at" be used as well? I was taught that, when it comes to reactions, you should use "at": e.g. "I was surprised at the news", "I was shocked at his behavior", etc.

  • I don't think so. It is possible to say react with, react like, react against and react to but the preposition at is imho not possible.
    – Em1
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 8:24
  • Alright, so the verb "react" and its derivative "reaction" take the preposition "to", and that rules out "at". Is that right? Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 8:35

1 Answer 1


The adjectives amazed and surprised collocate with at, but the noun reaction doesn't. The only instances you can see the preposition at next to the word reaction is when a certain condition is mentioned at the time the reaction takes place, for example "The reaction of the liquid at this temperature is..."

  • That was crystal clear. Thank you so much, Irene. :-) Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 8:41

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