Difference Between Through and By

Prepositions play a prime part in the English Language, A preposition is a word that links nouns, pronouns, or a phrase to the other part of the sentence to give a proper meaning. Prepositions are commonly small words that perform the linkage successfully. They are normally placed in front of the nouns.

In general understanding of the parts of speech, there are about 150 prepositions available for proper delivery of the English language, both verbally as well as written way. Out of these 150 prepositions, there are many pairs that create a slight confusion as to what to use when. The wrong usage of a preposition in a context may take the meaning of the sentence to a toss.

One such combination is Through and By. They both at the surface level look similar in usage but there are many differences between the two.

Through vs By

The main difference between Through and By is that Through is the preposition used to indicate a process while By is the preposition used to refer to means of something. Through is the word which indicates a location from one point to another while By indicates the location which is next to it or beyond it.

Through vs By


Comparison Table Between Through and By (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonThroughBy
Referring LocationThrough refers to a location from one pace to another across a place.By refers to location which is next to or past something.
Referring TimeThrough is used to describe the time during the whole timeframe or a period.By refers to a specific time.
Referring to a ThingThrough refers to the extent of a thing.By refers to the size, amount, or margin of anything.
1st Person referenceThrough refers to or describes the process of an activity. Through refers to the completion of an activity.By refers to the means of anything. By also refers to the modes of transportation.
Multiplicative TermsThrough is never used in Multiplicative TermsBy can be seen used in multiplicative terms.


When to Use the Word Through?

Through is a preposition used to refer to any process. It is an essential proposition that gives a clear picture of the task that is carried out.

Through completely shows the location from one place to another, for eg. The cat jumped outside through the window. This preposition also denotes the completion of the activity, the cat has jumped outside.

Through is the preposition which can be used in different ways. The word also gives a clear meaning to the sentences which involve past and beyond and which has a relation to the context. E.g. The castle has been through a century to date.

The time factor is also clearly addressed with this word “through”. E.g. I have been preparing for the exam all through the night. This gives the meaning of through as the ‘whole period’.

It is also used to indicate how something has happened. E.g. The virus entered his body through his knows.

The physical location of something can be denoted using through. The location is indicated by the use of Through exactly.

E.g. The restroom is through the corridor.

The preposition “through” can also be used to complete an activity. It gives a clear picture of a task being completed.


  1. I got through my tests.
  2. Lilly went through the papers

When to Use the Word By?

By is one of the smallest prepositions that is used in the English Language. It connects with the nouns, pronouns, or phrases to the other part of the sentence to give a proper meaning to the sentence.

The preposition gives connect of the subject to the other part of the sentence. E.g. John went home on a walk.

By is a preposition which refers to the ownership. In the case of actions also, it indicates the owner of the act with the use of By, e.g.

  1. The article was written By John
  2. The book was authored by Jane Austen
  3. The place was made dirty by Niki

If it is observed, the above-mentioned sentences are actions and it refers to a person who is responsible for it. It is referred to only using the word By.

By can be used in different ways, it also refers to a location. It refers to the location which is next to or past beyond something.


  1. John lives by the cottage.
  2. Lilly lives by the riverside.
  3. John ran by Lilly’s house last night.
  4. Lilly drives by John’s office on Monday.

The first two sets of examples give a meaning of living near something. While the next two give the meaning of going past the location.

By is a preposition which emphasizes strong time factor. It indicates the time which can be either before or not later than.


  1. Please come by 9:00 AM.
  2. John shall complete the assignment by next week.

Main Differences Between Through and By

  1. Both prepositions are highly used in the English Language. The main difference between Through and By is, Through refers to a process while By refers to means of something.
  2. Through refers to the location from one point to another across a medium while By gives a location that is next to or past beyond something.
  3. Through refers to the completion of an activity while By refers to the modes of transportation. 
  4. The preposition through completely refers to time as a whole entity and describes it as a whole-time frame, while By refers time directly and specifically.
  5. Through is never found used in multiplicative terms whereas can be found often uses in multiplicative terms.



These two words are common prepositions that are highly used and have a lot of differences as well. Through is a preposition which gives the location-specific sentences many times while By gives the time-specific statements.

It all remains good as the context of the sentence directs it. As the word By gives the origin of something, Through gives the completion of something. Both are delectable prepositions which must be used correctly in the contexts to gain grammar compliance.

As the task fulfillment is gained with the usage of Through, the task owner can be identified with the usage of By



  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/by
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/through
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