With vs By

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What’s the difference between them?



with is a preposition that means in the company of or using something.


1. With a heavy heart, I said goodbye to my best friend.

2. The team worked well together, with each person playing an important role.

3. I had difficulty sleeping last night, due to stress and worry, but with the help of a warm cup of tea, I eventually drifted off.



by is a preposition that shows how something is done, with what means something is done, or the agent that does something. It can also mean near or next to.


1. By the time we arrived, the party had already started.

2. By working together, we can make a difference.

3. By the end of the semester, I will have completed all of my classes.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference




1. Along

2. Together

3. Utilizing

4. Accompanied by

5. By way of

1. Against

2. Without

3. Away from

4. Opposite of

5. Contrary to


1. Through

2. By means of

3. Via

4. Along

5. Utilizing

1. Against

2. Counter to

3. Opposed

4. Contrary to

5. Inverse of

Tricks for mastery

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

1. When deciding between using 'with' or 'by', consider the context in which the words are used.

2. If the sentence is about someone doing something, 'by' is more appropriate.

3. If the sentence is about someone being accompanied by someone or something, 'with' is more appropriate.

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Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word 'with' be used?

With is a preposition and is generally used to express being in the company of something else, using something or accompanying something. For example, it could be used to express that you are going somewhere with a friend, using a cell phone or accompanying a colleague.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word 'by'?

By is a preposition that is used to express how something is done, with what means something is done, or the agent that does something. It can also mean near or next to. For example, it could be used to express that something was done by hand, by a particular person or by a certain deadline.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. The word 'with' is pronounced /wɪð/, while the word 'by' is pronounced /bai/.

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

There are a few common mistakes people make when using these words. One mistake is using 'by' when 'with' is the correct word. For example, it would be incorrect to say 'I went by my friend’s house' when it should be 'I went with my friend to his/her house'. Another common mistake is using 'with' when 'by' is the correct word. For example, it is incorrect to say 'I did it with my own hands' when it should be 'I did it by my own hands'.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. She was impressed _____ his intelligence and wit.

2. The book was written _____ J.K. Rowling.

3. He cut the paper _____ a pair of scissors.

4. I will send the package _____ courier, so it arrives quickly.

5. She always stands _____ her friends, no matter the circumstances.

6. The cake is made _____ chocolate and vanilla flavors.

1. by

Explanation: In this context, by indicates the cause of her being impressed, which is his intelligence and wit.

2. by

Explanation: When attributing the creation or production of something to someone, by is used. J.K. Rowling is the author of the book, so the book was written by her.

3. with

Explanation: The instrument or means used to perform an action is denoted by with. In this case, scissors are the tool used to cut the paper.

4. by

Explanation: The mode or method by which something is done or delivered is indicated using by. Here, by courier describes the method of sending the package.

5. by

Explanation: The phrase stand by someone means to support or be loyal to someone. In this context, by is the correct choice.

6. with

Explanation: When indicating the components or ingredients of something, with is used. The cake contains chocolate and vanilla flavors, so its made with those flavors.

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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.