Which preposition should be used with the adjective 'captious'?

Which preposition should be used with the adjective ‘captious’?

Many thanks,

Hi Nessie

Naturally, an adjective tends to be used with (or to describe) a noun, and this word is no exception. I don’t think there is any specific preposition that would form a “typical collocation” with captious.

How did you want to use that word?

Hi Amy, I just asked because I’m not very sure about the usage of ‘captious’ (I find no examples for it in my dictionaries, and in most examples in the BNC, the word is used as an attributive) That’s why I wonder if the adjective can ever be used with a preposition. Please have a check on this:

1/ Those students despise their teacher because they think he is very captious.
2/ She’s always very captious to/towards/of/etc me. She finds faults in almost everything I do.

Many thanks,

Hi Nessie,

‘Towards’ is probably the favourite as it conveys the sense of attitude. In fact it might be a good idea to write something like: She always adopts a very captious attitude towards me.


Hi Nessie

Sentence 1 sounds fine to me.

Sentence 2 sounds iffy to me. I suppose I might possibly use it with “towards”.

Hi everyone

I’ve checked my grammar book and find out “to” - infinitive could place after complements as a comment. This means “She’s always very captious to me.” is syntactic correct, right?

My question is what’s the difference of your feeling when you hear “She’s always very captious to me.” and “She’s always very captious towards me.”?

Dose the first one sound emotional and the second more sound like a report?

Thanks a lot.

“Captious towards”, “captious against”, “captious with”: these are possible; but “captious” + preposition is likely to sound archaic or mannered.

In most cases, the context would provide the direction of the captiousness.