Prepositions: 16 ways to use ‘by’ in English

Prepositions: 16 ways to use ‘by’ in English


Hi, everyone. In this lesson we’re looking at how to use
the preposition “by”. “By” is such a common word; we use it all
the time, but because of that, it can be confusing. “Am I using the right preposition?” So, in this lesson I’m going to go over lots
of examples of when you should use “by”, give you the rules of grammar; and also towards
the end of the lesson, teach you new uses of “by” that you might not know yet
because they’re advanced. Okay, let’s start with communication. Here’s an example sentence: “You can enter
the competition by text message, by post, by letter, or by email.” These days it’s not so common to enter a competition
by post, but when I was younger watching children’s television, that was often one of the main
ways to enter the competition. Okay, moving on to transport now. “P” stands for “preposition”. This shows us that in this example of grammar,
“by” is being used as a preposition. “She’s coming to London by car, by plane,
by taxi, or by train.” When we’re talking about transport, the mode
of transport, how we go somewhere – we use “by” as the preposition. Three: Error. “Error” means this is wrong; a mistake. “I’m sorry. I did it by mistake.”, “I did it by accident. Oops. I did it by accident. I’m sorry.” These are the only two examples you need to
remember for error. Next one is luck. “We met each other by chance.” I didn’t plan to meet you today. I’m walking down the street: “Oh, there you
are!” In that situation, I met you by chance. This means same thing as “by coincidence”. “We met each other by coincidence.” Also similar to the meaning of “fate”. This was meant to be, in a way. You walk down the… well, not… coincidence…
when people talk about coincidence, they mean: “This is just random it… this happened”,
whereas if they talk about fate, it’s like: “It was planned to be by the gods” or something
like that. Next use of “by” is for next to. And when we use “by” in these sentences, we
mean: “This thing is positioned next to the other thing.” Used as a preposition: “The cat is by the
window.” Here’s the cat-“meow”-here’s the window. The cat is by the window. Another example: “Your boots are by the stairs.” Here are the stairs going up, here are your
boots. “Your boots are by the stairs.” And lastly, here: “My keys are by the door. My keys are by the door.” More examples coming up. Next we have using “by” when we want to say
who did something. These example sentences, here, are all
examples of the passive voice. That’s a grammar term. If after I’ve explained this, you want to
know more, pause the video and go and… go and check out Adam’s lesson on this. Let’s look at these sentences: “‘Sunflowers’
was painted by Van Gogh”. “Sunflowers” is a painting. Van Gogh, the artist, painted it. We can take this sentence, and swap it, and
say: “Van Gogh painted ‘Sunflowers’.” But in this sentence, which is the passive
voice, the thing that comes first in the sentence is the obje-… Is the object. “Sunflowers”, the painting comes first, rather
than the artist. And the reason we do passive voice sentences
is because this is more formal writing, or we might see it written in an essay or something
like that. Next example is: “I was invited by Mr. Smith.” Mr… I’ll change it around: “Mr. Smith invited
me” would be the other way to say this. Next example: “My computer was repaired by
the IT Department.” I can change that one around and say: “The
IT Department repaired my computer.” So, in all of these sentences, to form the
passive voice we use the preposition “by” in the example sentences. Next let’s look at using “by” as a preposition
when we’re talking about how to pay for something. We can say: “by cash, by credit card, by PayPal”. “You can pay for your computer by cash or
by credit card in this store.” Next… next we have how something is sold. Let’s look at the examples. So, did you know that in England: “Eggs are
sold by the dozen”? You get 12. A “dozen” means 12 eggs. “By the dozen”. Fabric – material that’s in our… makes our
clothes and furniture, like sofas: “Fabric is sold by the metre.” You go in the shop, and the fabric is all
on those rolls, and they say: “How many metres do you want?” Fabric is sold by the metre. Another example: “Parking is charged by the
hour.” If you want to park here, every hour you must
pay two pounds to park your car. Parking is charged by the hour. Next example is when we do something alone. In this example sentence: “I did it by myself”. Just me alone. I did it by myself. “Myself” is a reflexive pronoun. If you want to know more about reflexive pronouns,
Rebecca’s made a really good video on these. You can pause, go and watch that video, and
come back. Next example is: “We can’t leave her by herself.” Perhaps in this sentence you have a small
child, she’s only 3 or 4 years old-well, older than that as well-her parents might say:
“No, we can’t… We can’t come this evening to the party because
we can’t leave her by herself; she’s too young to be left without a babysitter.” Number 10: Reactions. These are also prepositions, here. When we want to talk about something terrible
that’s happened that’s been in the news, we might say: “We were… We were shocked by the… The terrorist incident that happened. We were all shocked by it.” We could… Similar… For the similar situation, we could say: “We
were saddened by… We were saddened by what… We were saddened by the children dying in
the terrorist incident. It made us very sad”. “We were distressed by the images of what
happened in the terrorist incident. The pictures we looked at were… Were horrible to see. We were distressed by them”. So, all these ones have a strong emotional
reaction; and in these cases, a negative emotional reaction to something strong that happens. The next example: “We were alarmed by
the loud siren”. “Weeoo, weeoo, weeoo”. When we’re alarmed, we’re… We’re surprised, it shocks us. We can also say: “startled by”. “Startled” is, like, a moment when you jump. Or we could say that: “We were frightened
by the loud sound. What’s happening? Oh no, what’s happening? We have to get out now”, that kind of thing. And the other example here are positive uses
for strong feelings that we use with “by”, we could say: “We were… I was… I was surprised by everybody… I was surprised by them coming in with a big
birthday cake for me.” Or I could say: “Oh, I was delighted by my
sister’s news that she’s having a baby.” So, in these cases, I’m happy. Next I’ve got some advanced uses of “by”. Now let’s look at advanced prepositional phrases. This is advanced vocabulary, so some of these
you may not have heard before. Or because there are a few small words together
in some of these, the meanings can be confusing and not clear to guess. So let’s break them down. “By far” means… We use “by far” when we want to compare two
different things, and emphasize the difference between them. Here’s an example sentence: “Jade is by far
the best belly dancer.” I can also use “by far” in a negative sense
for a negative meaning, so I could say: “Toby is the slowest reader in the class by far.” And in that sentence, I moved the prepositional
phrase “by far” to the end of the sentence. The next example is: “by no means”. “By no means” means not at all or certainly
not. In this example sentence: “The election outcome
is by no means certain” means right now we don’t know who will win. We have “certain” – “certain” means 100% sure,
but when we say: “…by no means certain”, the meaning changes to the opposite. Right now we’re not certain; we don’t know. Another example is: “The show is by no means
over.” So, in that sentence, the meaning of “certainly
not” is clearer: “The show is by no means over.” It’s definitely not over; the show will continue. The next example is: “by and large”. “By and large” means with everything considered. “Portugal is by and large cheaper than Spain.” I would use that prepositional phrase if I
had to consider things in relation to each other first to make my… to make my decision. “Portugal is by and large cheaper than Spain.” I thought about it; by and large, now I know
Portugal is cheaper than Spain. Next I have “by virtue of”. “By virtue of” means because of, and this
is slightly formal or elevated language. “He got the job by virtue of his impressive
C.V.” So, he had a lot of experience, and we gave
him the job because of that. We could… We could also say: “He got the job because
of his impressive C.V.”, but the prepositional phrase “by virtue of” sounds a bit higher
and more elegant English. Next we have: “by appointment only”. When something happens by appointment only,
you have to make a special arrangement. You can’t go there any time, any day and do
the thing that you want; you must give them notice, call them, tell them first. So, here’s an example: “Tours are by appointment
only.” One example of this in my local park is they
have a very small, tiny, tiny, very, very small nature garden. It’s probably… No. I’m exaggerating. It’s probably about four times as big as this
board, and it has a small… small fence there which you can look over, and it has a sign
that says: “You can go in the nature garden by appointment only.” I don’t know who you’re supposed to ask or
why you would need to go in this tiny garden so badly, but if you want to, you may go in
that tiny garden by appointment only. But generally, it’s special things that you’d
really want to do. And lastly, we have: “by request”. “By request” means there’s some… There’s something that you have to ask for
in order to get. So, this could be a food arrangement, this
could be if you’re staying in a hotel and they don’t have towels for outside by the
swimming pool – you’d have to ask by request. An example sentence is: “A vegetarian option
is available by request.” Let’s say, there, you’re in a restaurant in
a buffet situation – all the food’s there; you can come and help yourself. If you’re a vegetarian, something for you
to eat might not be there; but this doesn’t mean they don’t have it – it just means that
you must ask and they’ll do something for you. It’s possible, but it’s not there all the
time. How it’s slightly different to “by appointment
only” is that we say “by appointment only” when it’s something for us to do or something… A place for us to go; whereas the meaning
of “by request” is… It’s more general, and most of the time for
things like food, for example, that we just ask for and then we get. So, thank you so much for watching. What you can do now is the quiz on this lesson. Bye. The example… Oo, my head thing fell off. I’ll carry on. The example sentence… I can’t carry on.

88 Comments

  • Abdel Baki Decor

    February 12, 2019

    Good morning my sister

    Reply
  • Madu Sanka

    February 12, 2019

    First like in sri lanka 🇱🇰

    Reply
  • Jheison Mansilla

    February 12, 2019

    please could u do videos to help us with toelf or ielts tests. greeting from Peru

    Reply
  • Evgeny Mukhin

    February 12, 2019

    I wish a had a wife with such an accent. O boy, my life would have been all rainbows and unicorns then. I've been struggling to understand English all my life and kinda hated it but once I came across your channel I'm in love with English accent.

    Reply
  • Stan Kormy

    February 12, 2019

    Hey Jade

    Reply
  • مصطفى حلمى حماد

    February 12, 2019

    Greetings from Alexandria Egypt

    Reply
  • wilson alonso giraldo quitian

    February 12, 2019

    I study English by my own!
    Im learning by my own

    Reply
  • Er simranjeet singh

    February 12, 2019

    Beb..

    Reply
  • Gizza Martin

    February 12, 2019

    You are the best teacher I've ever had. you accent is the most beautiful I've heard ever

    Reply
  • Evgeny M. / Ευγένιος M.

    February 12, 2019

    Thanks Jade!

    Reply
  • Francisco du Vietnam

    February 12, 2019

    Good lesson, 😊👍
    Thanks teacher. I was born in Paris but my parents are Portuguese. 🤗💕🇵🇹 Hi from Vietnam ☺️🇻🇳

    Reply
  • UK Fans

    February 12, 2019

    good lesson

    Reply
  • L s

    February 12, 2019

    Hi, 1- thanks for the effort. And. 2- Who 's Rebeca you 've mentioned in this Video? Regards.

    Reply
  • Magdalena Wlizło

    February 12, 2019

    I really enjoyed watching it! Great examples and everything written down below. 👍

    Reply
  • Hussein Slave the Poor

    February 12, 2019

    Thanks, Jade…

    Reply
  • Emilio Vicente Herrán

    February 12, 2019

    Thank so much Jade. Useful and great lesson

    Reply
  • Mohammed Haimed

    February 12, 2019

    Thank you Jade

    Reply
  • 王凌锋

    February 12, 2019

    I‘m so happy that your channel is updated

    Reply
  • wang peter

    February 12, 2019

    Happy new new.a bunch of thanks from china,my teacher,you're fascinating

    Reply
  • jeszcze czego

    February 12, 2019

    Thx Jade 😀

    Reply
  • Mario Passendorf

    February 12, 2019

    By the way 😉 We love your lessons

    Reply
  • SHUBHAM KUMAR

    February 12, 2019

    thanku so much u are best trainer I like your teaching style I love dtit

    Reply
  • 미트라

    February 12, 2019

    Thank you dear teacher

    Reply
  • Aleksey Zubov

    February 12, 2019

    Magnificent and helpfull video! Thank you!

    Reply
  • 白羊

    February 12, 2019

    is expired date can using for by appointment only? like
    a)Hurry James, the competition have an expire date.
    b)Hurry James ,the competition is by appointment only.
    or expired date can't use in appointment only?
    my grammer is bad

    Reply
  • yeimi juarez

    February 12, 2019

    despite of my pronunciation is not very well, when i watch your videos I try to understand your intonation and every day I understand more percentage of the lesson. tnks for sharing your videos and your time for non english speakers

    Reply
  • Ronnie Arévalo

    February 12, 2019

    Thank you, Jade! Such a great lesson

    Reply
  • Eliseo Castro

    February 12, 2019

    Saludos desde El salvador

    Reply
  • Tommy Likes

    February 12, 2019

    I like your channel

    Reply
  • Juan De Paz Sánchez

    February 12, 2019

    Thanks a lot Jade. Your English is really catchy and the explanations are all clear. It's a master class. Regards from Canary Islands.

    Reply
  • Ruben Silva Chacon

    February 12, 2019

    I like so much, a lot of your Video Classes.

    Reply
  • Dr queen

    February 12, 2019

    Jade Long time, hope you are doing well

    Reply
  • M M - MISTER M

    February 12, 2019

    Your pronunciation is so soft and so perfect; makes English language sounds even more beautiful

    Reply
  • Aayad Abas

    February 12, 2019

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Aayad Abas

    February 12, 2019

    🌹🌷🌹🌷🌹🌹🌷🌹🌷🌹

    Reply
  • Aayad Abas

    February 12, 2019

    🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼

    Reply
  • Oleksandr Tykhonovsky

    February 12, 2019

    “By virtue of” sounds fantastic, thanks for yet another great video! Your handband looks very nice 🙂

    Reply
  • plinio Lima Junior

    February 12, 2019

    Great lesson. Thank you, Jade !

    Reply
  • English Idioms

    February 13, 2019

    Спасибо ❤

    Reply
  • El mundo de Mary carrio

    February 13, 2019

    Thank you

    Reply
  • El mundo de Mary carrio

    February 13, 2019

    thank you very much you explain very well

    Reply
  • George Thomas

    February 13, 2019

    You are such an Amazing, Cute, Wonderful teacher, by far.

    Reply
  • cristina lexy

    February 13, 2019

    By the way, good video

    Reply
  • naval asia

    February 13, 2019

    good afternoon

    Reply
  • Falukhata Harefa

    February 13, 2019

    I've watched for several times of your video teaching of English, I like them very much. Thanks Ms Jodle.

    Reply
  • Ar

    February 13, 2019

    If I applying university in EU what I take TOEFL or IELTS or what? I'm still in SHS

    Reply
  • kamel hatem

    February 13, 2019

    Thank you so much teacher!!!

    Reply
  • Lakkan ram

    February 13, 2019

    thank you

    Reply
  • TBA HEALTH - ቲቢኤ ጥዕና

    February 13, 2019

    Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  • Ali Aljmaly

    February 13, 2019

    Good job 👍

    Reply
  • Periklis Gewrgiou

    February 13, 2019

    thank you so much for your useful lesson

    Reply
  • Omar Baldit

    February 13, 2019

    ❤️ Great lesson!

    Reply
  • Kenedy Pires

    February 14, 2019

    Jade, you’re my favourite YouTube teacher. Thanks for all your videos and the way you teach. I’m from Manaus, Brazil.

    Reply
  • Sanjay kumar Yadav

    February 14, 2019

    Please make videos on uses of "To" . this video has been very helpful. I learnt a lot from this lesson. I am from India and learning english . thank you.

    Reply
  • The luckiest! man alive

    February 14, 2019

    Are U actually good at explaining!! i mean teaching!!! i am not!! i mean is it laziness!! i am not even trying!! there is nothing wrong with me blood!! isn't anxiety!! like blood related!! do not know really!! what is it!! this is not enough!! explanation!!

    Reply
  • kashif ahmed

    February 14, 2019

    great job teacher i like your teaching method is so good God bless you dear teacher

    Reply
  • Bash Home

    February 15, 2019

    Guys I want to learn British English who want to teach me ?

    Reply
  • ismail Adam

    February 15, 2019

    I really like your accent and I enjoyed watching your videos it helps me to improve my English thank you.

    Reply
  • ivme

    February 16, 2019

    she is nice <3

    Reply
  • ALI Ali

    February 17, 2019

    Thanks 🙏 for you

    Reply
  • José

    February 17, 2019

    I found your lessons a couple of years ago BY chance and always I always give you thumbs up BY the high quality of your work .

    Reply
  • Edmundo Martinez

    February 18, 2019

    Hi Jade, first of all, a huge thank you for your videos and classes. I started from scratch learning English improving a lot following your classes and videos, all of them very professional, useful and easy to understand, very pedagogical!.
    Your help please on this question related with the preposition By and its proximity use, it is equivalent to say. "I parked the car by the supermarket" and ”I parked the car at the supermarket”?, thanks in advance. 👍😊

    Reply
  • Amit Chakraborty

    February 18, 2019

    I LIKE YOUR LESSON AND YOUR ACCENTS. PLEASE MAKE MORE VIDEO

    Reply
  • Rafael Calvin

    February 19, 2019

    I think it's very nice you take your time to teach English! way to go! rafael calisto from brazil são paulo

    Reply
  • Ella chikezie

    February 20, 2019

    Hi Jade, I'm Ella from Nigeria. A budding writer and spoken word poet. I have followed your lessons for quite a while, during which I have learnt so much and improved my pronunciation. You are an amazing teacher no doubt, but it's so hard for me to keep practicing the language as it's not my native language and there's no one to constantly speak with. I'd appreciate if you can suggest some methods I can use to keep practicing so I don't lose touch.
    Also, do you organise webinars and live sessions? Is there an email address I can reach you on? Please, let me know. Once again, thanks for doing this for us. I look forward to your reply.

    Reply
  • Wellington Moreira

    February 20, 2019

    How can someone dislike an amazing class such this one! I love this accent 🙂

    Reply
  • du zhaoda

    February 23, 2019

    i really like your course

    Reply
  • happydrawing

    February 24, 2019

    Just cannot believe that you are an English teacher who complaint non-native English speakers(Asians) accent in another videos!!!! Oh my god!

    Reply
  • 22 22

    February 24, 2019

    Hi

    Reply
  • Alemu Tesema

    February 25, 2019

    Thank you Teacher very helpful lesson I am waiting for the next lesson 😆

    Reply
  • Araz Guliyev

    February 27, 2019

    Thanks a lots for your helping

    Reply
  • Isaac Isaac

    February 27, 2019

    By cash or in cash

    Reply
  • kun yang

    February 27, 2019

    you're a such good teacher

    Reply
  • arnesto ali

    February 27, 2019

    thanks my teacher is very good and very helpful in my life

    Reply
  • Inju Juan

    March 2, 2019

    Thanks Jade for uploading such a useful video and for the script. It's a lot of work and I just wanted to say that it's highly appreciated. Thanks again. See you soon🦄👍😊

    Reply
  • Stephanie Coerver

    March 7, 2019

    love the class

    Reply
  • yong luo

    March 10, 2019

    thank you teacher !

    Reply
  • Esteban C

    March 28, 2019

    Thank you for this lesson, Is your accent Australian?

    Reply
  • Safar Ibadov

    April 23, 2019

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Prasanth

    May 4, 2019

    Mam ? Can We use by like This ? Is this correct ?
    i came my Home By Walk ? Or
    by should be used to only for vehicles ?

    Reply
  • Obsidian115

    May 15, 2019

    Meow.

    Reply
  • Sonnel Barto

    May 16, 2019

    Very good lesson! You have a nice writing! … Why sometimes can we find "by" at the end of a sentence?

    Reply
  • Naveed Hassan

    May 25, 2019

    A vegetarian option is available on request? Instead of using by I used on. Could you please guide me?

    Reply
  • Amit Singh

    June 3, 2019

    You r ultimate teacher…in the world.

    Reply
  • Roberto Russo

    June 15, 2019

    I love your accent… By the way very useful lesson thanks a lot. Lots of love x

    Reply
  • Melisila

    July 5, 2019

    I love your speaking and teaching my teacher 🤗

    Reply
  • Sulee Altinn

    July 17, 2019

    I wanna ask something. You said that by virtue of means beacuse of. But ı know that because of is used for bad things like the I cut my finger beacuse of you. In the sentence you show does it mean "thanks to"?
    Sorry ı couldnt get it

    Reply
  • Rodrigo Guillermo Montoya Rojas

    August 25, 2019

    I love you Jade. You're so beautiful 💞💟💕💖💚💛💜💙❤

    Reply

Leave a Reply