Hi Snarky! Please tell me which is correct: I'm 'preoccupied by' video games or 'preoccupied with' video games? I hear it both ways.This is a super example of an idiom that ends with a preposition. An idiom is an expression that requires using a certain string of words. Idioms can be particularly tricky when they include prepositions, because very often there is no grammatical reason why one preposition is better than another; it's simply that a particular combination of words became accepted and now it's a part of our language.
- There are many idioms that require a certain preposition. Examples include: able to, capable of, prohibited from, and preoccupied with.
- When you're unsure of which preposition to use in an idiom, it's often helpful to play with it. Change another word in the idiom from a verb to noun or vice versa. Put the sentence in a different tense. Or switch from the active to the passive voice or vice versa. Then, very often, the choice becomes clear.
- I am preoccupied with video games.