By and with

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By and with can both be used to say how somebody does something, but there is an important difference. By refers to the method; with refers to the tool.

In passive clauses, by introduces the agent - the person or thing that does the action.

Exercise

Test your understanding of by and with with this grammar exercise.

Complete the following sentences using by or with.

1. They killed the snake ---------------- hitting it.

2. They killed the snake ----------------- a stone.

3. I got where I am today ----------------- hard work.

4. We managed to get it out ------------------ a screwdriver.

5. She was green ------------------- envy.

Answers

1. They killed the snake by hitting it.

2. They killed the snake with a stone.

3. I got where I am today by hard work.

4. We managed to get it out with a screwdriver.

5. She was green with envy.

See Also

Back and Again
Bath and bathe
Beat and win
Because
Because of, due to, owing to and on account of
Been
Before
Before and in front of
Begin and Start
Belong to, belong on and belong in
Below and under
Beside
Besides
Between and among
Between and during
Between and from
Big, large and great
A bit
Born and borne
Both
Bring and take
But
But, though, in spite of, despite
By and with