By vs From

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What’s the difference between them?



By means near or next to.


1. By the end of the week, I'll have finished my project.

2. By the looks of things, we won't be able to finish on time.

3. We need to get to the airport by 3 pm.



From is used to show the point of origin or starting point of an action, movement, or other process.


1. From my perspective, the situation appears to be complex.

2. From the looks of it, the storm is coming soon.

3. From a young age, he understood the importance of hard work.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference




1. Through

2. By means of

3. Via

4. With

5. In accordance with

1. Lack

2. Opposite

3. Without

4. Not have

5. Abundance


1. Departure

2. Starting Point

3. Origin

4. Beginnings

5. Point of Departure

6. Starting Place

7. Source

8. Commencement

9. Start

10. Jump-Off Point

1. Away

2. Near

3. Remain

4. Departure

5. Stay

6. Leave

7. Approaching

8. Silence

9. Noise

10. Abstain

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "By", "From".

1. Think of 'by' as indicating proximity or being close to something. 'Stand by the door.'

2. Consider 'from' as representing the point of origin or the starting point of an action. 'She comes from a small town.'

3. Associate 'by' with being nearby or beside something. 'The shop is by the park.'

4. Connect 'from' with the starting point of a journey or process. 'The train departs from the station.'

5. Use 'by' when referring to a deadline or a specific time. 'Finish the project by Friday.'

6. Employ 'from' to denote the starting time or point of an action. 'I work from 9 AM to 5 PM.'

Practice English with the Promova app and avoid misusing confusing words

Frequently asked questions

When should 'By' be used?

'By' is a preposition used to indicate the agent in the passive voice, or to refer to the means through which something is accomplished. For example, 'The painting was created by the artist' or 'The letter was sent by post'.

When is the appropriate context for using 'From'?

'From' is also a preposition used to indicate the source of something. It can be used to show the point of origin or the source of an action. An example would be 'The food came from the kitchen' or 'The donation came from a private donor'.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the word 'by' is pronounced as /baɪ/, while 'from' is pronounced as /frɑːm/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake people make when using these words is confusing the two. For example, using 'by' when they should use 'from' or vice versIt is important to note that the two words are used differently and in different contexts.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. I live ___ the school; its only a five-minute walk.

2. The cake is made ___ chocolate and cream.

3. We traveled ___ Paris to Rome last summer.

4. The book ___ the author J.K. Rowling was a bestseller.

5. She bought the dress ___ a local store.

6. The statue ___ the entrance is over a hundred years old.

1. by

Explanation: The sentence refers to the location of the speakers house in relation to the school. By indicates proximity or being near something.

2. from

Explanation: Here, the ingredients used to make the cake are being listed. From indicates the components or origins of something.

3. from

Explanation: This sentence talks about the starting point and destination of a journey. From is used to indicate the starting point of a movement or action.

4. by

Explanation: This sentence refers to the authorship of the book. By is used to indicate the agent or doer in passive constructions or when referring to authors, artists, etc.

5. from

Explanation: This sentence refers to the point of origin of the dress, i.e., where it was purchased. From indicates where something originates or comes from.

6. by

Explanation: The sentence is talking about the location of the statue in relation to the entrance. By suggests the statue is near or next to the entrance.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.