Obsessed with and Preoccupied with

How to use "obsessed" and "preoccupied" correctly

This is an entry on my list of Common Errors in English Usage. Visit the main page for direct links to additional entries.

The participial adjectives obsessed and preoccupied and their noun forms obsession and preoccupation take the preposition with when they suggest that one is constantly thinking about something. Avoid using for or any other preposition:

The Hulk’s obsession for obsession with tiny porcelain teacups is a little strange.

He was so preoccupied by preoccupied with his teacup collection that he forgot to defend Earth from the alien invasion.

Related Resources

Common Errors in English Usage: Errors in diction and idiom commonly made by native speakers of English

List of Common Errors in English Usage (PDF): Printable version of the complete list

Common Grammar Errors: A list of common errors in grammar (topics like subject-verb agreement and parallelism) as distinct from usage

List of Common Errors in English Usage: PDF version

© 2006, 2008, and 2019 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.