By Accident vs On Accident

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By Accident

Meaning:

An event or occurrence that takes place unintentionally or without meaning to do so.

Examples:

1. I found out her secret by accident.

2. I stumbled upon the solution by accident.

3. He met his future wife by accident.

On Accident

Meaning:

Informal, non-standard variant of 'by accident.'

Examples:

1. I spilled the juice on accident.

2. I accidentally locked my keys in the car.

3. I didn't mean to hurt you, it was an accident.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

By Accident

1. Unintentionally

2. Unawares

3. Unforeseen

4. Happenstance

5. By chance

1. Intentionally

2. On Purpose

3. Deliberately

4. Systematically

5. Strategically

On Accident

1. Unintentionally

2. Unawares

3. Unforeseen

4. Happenstance

5. By chance

1. Intentionally

2. Deliberately

3. Purposely

4. By Design

5. On Purpose

Tricks for mastery

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

1. 'On accident' is not technically correct, and it should be generally avoided.

2. A mnemonic device to help remember the correct usage is 'By and By, not On and On.' This phrase helps to remind you that the correct phrase is 'by accident' and not 'on accident.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

'On Accident' should be used when referring to an accidental or unintentional action that has already taken place. For example, 'I left my phone on accident'.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

'By Accident' should be used when referring to an accidental or unintentional action that is about to take place or is currently in progress. For example, 'I fell over by accident'.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. 'On accident' is pronounced /on ˈæk.sə.dənt/, while 'by accident' is pronounced as /bai ˈæk.sə.dənt/

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

Common mistakes people make when using these words include using 'on' when they should use 'by.' Remember that 'on accident' is acceptable, but this variant isn't correct. Always refer to 'by accident,' especially in formal writing to avoid misunderstanding.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. She broke her arm __ accident.

2. They were late for school __ accident.

3. I stumbled __ accident.

4. He found out the truth __ accident.

5. I spilled the paint __ accident.

6. We discovered the treasure __ accident.

1. She broke her arm by accident.

Explanation: The phrase by accident implies that the action was unintentional and unexpected.

2. They were late for school by accident.

Explanation: The phrase by accident implies that the action was unintentional and unexpected.

3. I stumbled by accident.

Explanation: The phrase by accident implies that the action was unintentional and unexpected.

4. He found out the truth by accident.

Explanation: The phrase by accident implies that the action was unintentional and unexpected.

5. I spilled the paint by accident.

Explanation: The phrase by accident implies that the action was unintentional and unexpected.

6. We discovered the treasure by accident.

Explanation: The phrase by accident implies that the action was unintentional and unexpected.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

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