be surprised by (something)

When something surprises you, you say that you "were surprised by" it. "Surprised" describes your reaction. If you're describing the situation, you say "surprising":

It was surprising how easy it was.

I was surprised by how easy it was.

There are a lot of words to describe emotions that work similarly to "surprising" / "surprised". A few examples:

  • It was embarrassing. / I was embarrassed.
  • It was interesting. / I was interested.
  • It was amazing. / I was amazed.

Each word comes with its own preposition:

  • embarrassed by
  • interested in
  • worried about

"Surprised" uses the preposition "by". The best way to learn which preposition to use with each word is to memorize examples of each one.

This phrase appears in these lessons: