English Lessons Houston
Call Us: 713-828-7678
Mail Us: julie@englishlessons-houston.com
Dec 04 2013

How is the Word “By” Used in English?


How is the Word “By” Used in English?


Hi Students!  There are many uses for the word “by”.  In this article, we will look at some of the ways that we use the word by in American English.

By is used in many expressions.  It can be used as a preposition and it can be used as an adverb.  confusion about by

When it is used as a preposition, it is followed by a noun.

  • My cell phone was ruined by the water.   (what caused it)
  • I was treated at the hospital by Dr. Jones.  (who does or did something)
  • The hotel is located by the lake. (a location that is close)
  • We went to the airport by car.  (to say how something is done)
  • By taking the bus, you will arrive sooner.  (by doing something)

Confused about the word ByLet’s look at some other ways to use the word by.

  • I call my boss by his first name.  (how to name or call something)
  • I will begin my presentation by thanking everyone for coming.  (saying how you will start or finish something)
  • I will be finished with my report by 5:00 p.m.
  • Tom and Jerry will arrive at the party by 9:00 p.m.  (Before a certain time)
  • They drove into the other car by accident.  (something not planned)
  • The price of gasoline rose by 5% last year.  (how much something changed)
  • Brad Pitt just drove by me!  (coming close to or passing someone)

And let’s look at a few phrases that use the word by.

  • By and by (after a short time)

By and by, JK forgot about his old girl friend.

  • By and large (in general)

By and large, the meeting went very well.

  • By the way  (to change the subject in a conversation)

By the way, don’t forget to turn in your report.


These are not the only ways to use by.  Mathematics uses the word by when we multiply or divide.  puzzled about By

Multiply 5 by 100.  Divide 100 by 10.  The room is 8 feet by 10 feet.


So many ways to use the word by!  If you have any questions about the word by, you can send me an email at julie@englishlessons-houston.com   Also, if you are in Houston, go to our website Worldwide English and contact us about private English lessons!  That’s all for now!




Tagged ,

English Lessons Houston