I'd like to know  if the preposition should be "for or in" in the following sentence: 

          He has enthusiasm for / in his studies

When we decide which preposition we should use in a sentence, do we always look at the word before the preposition, i.e. "enthusiasm" in this case? Thanks a lot. 

Original Post

Hi, Taiman,

taiman posted:

I'd like to know  if the preposition should be "for or in" in the following sentence: 

          He has enthusiasm for / in his studies

'Enthusiasm' is mostly followed by 'for'. 

taiman posted:

When we decide which preposition we should use in a sentence, do we always look at the word before the preposition, i.e. "enthusiasm" in this case? Thanks a lot. 

Well, I see that it depends on the meaning of the sentence and knowing which word the preposition follows. To make myself clear, see these examples:

- We have a list of reasons. I have added one more reason to this list. ('Reason' should be directly followed by 'for', but here the preposition 'to' follows 'add').

- The enthusiasm of the volunteers is quite clear. (The enthusiasm of 'sb')

- Her enthusiasm to learn is inspiring. (This example is from an internet page. Here it is followed by 'to + inf.')

taiman posted:

          He has enthusiasm for / in his studies

Hi, Taiman,

Both prepositions are possible, though Ahmed is right that "for" is more usual. The meaning is different depending on which you choose. "He has enthusiasm for his studies" means that his enthusiasm is directed toward his studies.

"He has enthusiasm in his studies" has a much more general and abstract meaning. It does not necessarily mean that his studies awaken his enthusiasm, but that he has enthusiasm when he studies. You can also use "enthusiastic":

  • He is enthusiastic for his studies.
  • He is enthusiastic about his studies.
  • He is enthusiastic in his studies.
  • He is enthusiastic over his studies.

English is generous with its options here. The more enthusiasm, the better.

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