By vs Through

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What’s the difference between them?

By

Meaning:

By is a preposition that means near or next to, alongside of, or in the vicinity of.

Examples:

1. By the end of the day, the project was finished.

2. By the time I finished my homework, it was already midnight.

3. By the looks of it, the party was a success.

Through

Meaning:

Move or cause to move in a particular direction; push or pull.

Examples:

1. We had to walk through the long hallway to get to the library.

2. I'm going through some tough times right now.

3. We got through the assignment quickly.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

By

1. Through

2. Via

3. Because of

4. Owing to

5. Due to

1. Distant from

2. Away from

3. Far from

4. Remote from

5. Apart from

Through

1. Across

2. By means of

3. In the course of

4. Permeate

5. Transcend

1. Around

2. Aside

3. Away

4. Backward

5. Opposite direction

Tricks for mastery

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

1. 'By' indicates the use of an intermediary or an indirect action.

2. 'Through' indicates a direct action or a movement from one end of something to the other.

3. To help yourself remember, think of 'by' as meaning 'with the help of' and 'through' as meaning 'from one end to the other'.

4. If you're unsure of which word to use, try replacing it with the phrase 'with the help of' to see which one makes more sense.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When should the word 'By' be used?

By is typically used to indicate the means or method by which something is done, or the person responsible for something. For example, 'The project was completed by me' or 'The item was shipped by express delivery'.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'Through'?

Through is usually used to indicate motion or passing from one side or point of an area to another. For example, 'The train went through the tunnel' or 'We drove through the countryside'.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words 'By' and 'Through' are pronounced differently. The word 'By' is pronounced as 'bai' and the word 'Through' is pronounced as 'throo'.

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

One common mistake is using the word 'By' when 'Through' is the appropriate word. For example, 'We walked by the park' should be 'We walked through the park'. Another mistake is forgetting to use a preposition when needed. For example, 'We drove park' should be 'We drove through the park'.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. You can get to the kitchen _______ the living room.

2. The project was completed _______ the combined efforts of the entire team.

3. The train passes _______ several small towns before reaching the city.

4. She learned to play the guitar _______ sheer determination and practice.

5. _______ careful examination, the doctor concluded there was no injury.

6. The story is told _______ the eyes of the protagonist.

1. Answer: through

Explanation: The sentence describes a path or route from one room to another, making through the appropriate choice.

2. Answer: by

Explanation: The sentence is expressing the means or agency by which something was accomplished, so by is the correct word.

3. Answer: through

Explanation: The train is traveling and passing several towns in its route, implying movement and passage, making through appropriate.

4. Answer: by

Explanation: The means or method by which she learned the guitar is her determination and practice, so by is the correct choice.

5. Answer: Through

Explanation: The doctor examined in detail or thoroughly to reach a conclusion, making through the correct choice.

6. Answer: through

Explanation: The story is being seen or narrated from the perspective of the protagonist, implying a medium of conveyance, making through appropriate.

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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.