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When to use the prepositions By and With

By or With


We use "by" to show how or in what way something is done. 
  • I’ll send the message by email. 
  • The children go to school by bus. 
We use by + -ing form to describe how to achieve something. 
  • Switch on the machine by pressing this button. 
  • I improve my vocabulary by reading novels and literary works. 
When we use the passive voice, we use "by" to say who did something or what caused something. 
  • The roof was repaired by Charles. 
  • His skin condition was wrongly diagnosed by the doctor. 
By+reflexive pronoun means alone, without anyone else. 
  • Could you possibly help me? I can’t do it by myself. 
We use "by" to say that something happens in a way that is not planned or organized. 
  • He hit me with his hand by accident. 


We use "with" to refer to the tool or object that we use to do something. 
  • Is it possible to eat rice with chopsticks? 
  • He broke the window with a rock. 
  • He hit me with his hand by accident. 
  • The roof was repaired by Charles with sealant and cement.
We use "with" to show what is used to achieve something. 
  • He set up a small business with the help of a bank loan.

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