Difference Between By and With

A sentence is a set of words, phrases, or clauses that contains the subject, which describes the meaning, command, questions, performance, action, and so on with linking words.


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English grammar includes sentences, articles, punctuations, tenses, mood, voice, parts of speech, and many other technical aspects of writing and speaking.

A preposition is a word followed by nouns and pronouns, which link the words within sentences. Preposition plays the role of connecting people, things, location, and duration of a sentence.

Some prepositions are in, at, on, besides, after, before, until, unless, by, and so on.

Key Takeaways

  1. “By” is a preposition used to indicate the agent or means of an action, while “with” is a preposition used to denote accompaniment, manner, or instrumentality.
  2. “By” can show who or what acted, whereas “with” emphasizes involvement or association in an action or event.
  3. Both “by” and “with” function as prepositions in sentences but serve different purposes: “by” focuses on the agent or means of an action, while “with” highlights accompaniment or instrumentality.

By vs. With

“By” is used to show the agent or means of an action, indicating the person, object, or method that is responsible for or performs the action. “With” is used to show accompaniment, association, or the means by which something is done, used to accomplish a task or the person accompanying someone.

By vs With

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By and with both are prepositions. By and with can show how something can be done. By and with play different roles in the active and passive voice; sometimes by can replace by with, in passive-voice sentences.

Active voice sentences most of the time by follows a verb, whereas with follows a noun.

Active voice means the subject performs the verb’s action, and passive voice means the matter acted by a verb. By is a preposition and acts as an adverb, adjective, and noun sometimes.

By typically indicating who acts. With is also a preposition, which means express and what was used to work.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonByWith
FunctionIt explains someone’s action or who performed the actionIt explains what was used to perform the action
Indication‘By’ can indicate a person, institution, animal, or object‘With’ can show ingredients, tools, or parts of the body
In PhrasesA verb follows itA Noun follows it
GrammarIt is a preposition; it also acts as a Noun, Adverb, and adjectiveIt is a Preposition word
Voice – GrammarIt is mainly used in Passive voice sentence constructionIt is used in Active voice sentence


When to Use By?

By is a preposition; we use ‘by’ to show someone who has done something or performed an action. It can also be used as a noun, adverb, and adjective.  It can be used in several situations to express someone’s actions.

When the word ‘by’ is used in a sentence, it is always in the passive voice. The action performed by a person or thing usually showed at the end of the sentence by using the preposition BY.

For E.g.

  1. Milan paid bills by using a credit card.
  2. We sent money by money order.

By – to show when someone’s action or done

For E.g.

  1. Riya encouraged the team by joining.
  2. Sheena drives the car.

By – to show someone how something is to be done

For E.g.

  1. Milan paid bills by using a credit card.
  2. Whenever I travel by bus, I always go to club class

By – used to show when a person or things next to them or near

For E.g.

  1. Ayaan was by my side during the whole journey.
  2. Lara just passed by the bus.

By – used to describe a situation later than, before, or at

For E.g.

  1. Amazon promised to deliver by 5 o’clock
  2. I have to make payment by this weekend

By – When describing amount, hours, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day

For E.g.

  1. His salary will increase by 30%

By – used to describe someone’s nature, profession, and agree to the situation

For E.g.

  1. She is a doctor by profession.
  2. She looked gorgeous wearing a white dress.

When to Use With?

The word ‘with’ is a Preposition; it indicates the connection between things and people. It also explains where the objects are located,  the association, and what the action performed.

‘With’ do not explain who did the action, but it explains what action was performed. With is always used to explain or describe objects to perform any action. The sentence usually will be in Active Voice.

‘With’ – is used to indicate when people or things are together or doing something together.

For E.g.

  1. Ayaan was with Sheena when she visited the hospital
  2. The car was with Avin when I met him

With – used when something or someone is included in doing something or acting.

For E.g.

  1. She wiped the water on the table with a cloth.
  2. I saw a beautiful girl in the market with long hair

With – used in the different phrases at the beginning at the end of the letter

For E.g.

  1. With love, John
  2. With best wishes. Hima

With – used to indicate the relation between the Person or things

For E.g.

  1. She was candid with him.
  2. He carries a gun always with him for safety purposes.

With – used to indicate situations against something or because of or caused by something or someone

For E.g.

  1. She has fought with her mother to go to Goa
  2. With all this nonsense, I forgot his birthday.

With – used to describe separation, comparison, and support, followed by

For E.g.

  1. Sheen ended her long-time relationship with her boyfriend
  2. They both are twins. But nothing is familiar to them.
  3. I will always be with you in your tough time.
  4. You will get conditioner free along with the shampoo.

Main Differences Between By and With

  1. The main difference between By and With is the type of sentence each will feature. ‘By’ is always used in sentences with passive voice, whereas the latter features in active voice sentences.
  2. Any institution, object, or person is denoted using the word ‘By,’ but ‘With’ is primely utilized to denote ingredients, tools, or any body part.
  3. By is followed by a verb as it indicates an action on the subject. Whereas ‘With’ is followed by a Noun.
  4. The different grammatical forms that these words represent also differ; by is not only a preposition, it can also be used as a noun, adjective, and adverb, while ‘With’ is a preposition and remains the same in any situation.
  5. ‘By’ is the word mainly used to indicate a person or a thing responsible for action, while ‘With’ is the word used to denote something that is required to do the act.
Difference Between By and With
  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/by
  2. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/with
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