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I know that for emphasis, the construction is N + こそ, such as

この本こそ私が探していた本です。

I also looked up examples that has に before こそ, such as

ここにこそ真の人生があった。

I'd like to know which of the following is/are correct:

  1. 私は、彼ではなく、自分こそ驚かされた。

  2. 私は、彼ではなく、自分こそに驚かされた。

  3. 私は、彼ではなく、自分にこそ驚かされた。

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For what it's worth, questions about very specific combinations of words can often be answered with Google search, as long as you remember to use quotes to force an exact match.

A search for にこそ returns >14 million results, while a search for こそに returns about 86k and a large number of them are cases where こそ itself is being talked about, like dictionary entries. As a bonus, I can find one translated example sentence for にこそ and none for こそに. Given all this, I think we can safely say it's にこそ in most cases.

I'd like to know which of the following is/are correct:

To be frank these all look weird to me - 自分に驚かされる is not very idiomatic. Also, this would probably be clearer if you used a with to make it clear you were contrasting possibilities for the indirect object. You probably want something like:

私は、彼にではなく、自分にこそ驚いた。

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  • Thank you for your answer! – L Parker Feb 6 at 2:27

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