Preposition By

The Preposition By
The Preposition By

By is an irreplaceable preposition due to its role in the construction of passive voice and other vital semantic structures.


By + a Person:

By Sam

By Julie

By Kira


By + a Pronoun:

By me

By them

By us


By + a Reflexive Pronoun:

By ourselves

By herself

By yourself


By + a Place

By the restaurant

By my home

By that fountain


By + a Date

By tomorrow

By next month

By Christmas


By + ing Form

By doing

By cleaning

By singing


There are so many uses for the preposition “BY”. In particular, it is usually used as a marker of bygone times or as an indicator of time when something occurs. By can be used in a variety of situations to mean and indicate several references.


First, it indicates the method by which an action is done:


They did this by their hard work.


Second, By also means next to:


My fiance walks by me whenever we are together.


Third, passive voice implements by to specify the agent:


This painting was drawn by a communist artist.


Fourth, we use by to mean “no later than”:


I want the report on my desk by Monday.


Meaning, I want the report ready as soon as possible and it has to be ready before the coming Monday which is the final deadline.


Fifth, it is repeatedly used with adjectives:


Hans took John by surprise.


Other examples of By:


The castle was built by the forest. In this context, by means at the side of the forest. 

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I managed to get a hold of the manager by phone. Here, it is used to specify means of communication. While I arrived at Manhattan city by train indicates that by specifies the method of transportation. Both previous examples illustrate the manner by which the action was carried out.


By doing this, you are going to succeed. “By” provides here more information about how to achieve a certain end.


By + Reflexive pronouns:


Samantha, Riley, and Jade live by themselves. As you can see here this “by” moves to mean on their own, together, or alone according to the context preceding.


By as together:


Camila and Daisy go on vacation by themselves.


By as alone:


Charlotte lives by herself.


Finally, we’ll introduce by with time terminology:


By is widely used with time expressions:


The company really needs a big win by the next quarter.


You’ll get to return home by the end of this camp.


We hope that you enjoyed this article and benefited from those compiled pieces of information. Share with us any other cases you know about the preposition “by”.