Two ways to use the preposition "by"

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Prepositions are tricky (problematic) little words that cause trouble for English learners. Different languages use different prepositions to express the same ideas so you will most likely create errors if translating.

Today’s post discusses two ways to use the preposition “by”.

1) Transportation and how you move from place to place needs “by”.
- You can’t travel to Hawaii by land. You must either go by plane or by boat.
- Nat arrived in Vancouver’s city center by train.
- Carlos travels by bike whenever he can.

*On foot is commonly used for transportation.
Example: Once Nat arrived in Vancouver, she traveled by boat or on foot.

2) “By” is also used to show the method of doing something.
- Mary pays for everything by credit card.
- The party is by invitation only.
- Carlo learned English by listening to Beatles songs.

*For manner or method of payment, in cash / cash is also common.
Example: No, I didn't pay by check or credit card. I paid in cash.

“By” is very handy (convenient) for clarifying the method or means of how you do something. Don't be shy and start using "by" the right way today!

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