Prepositions of Manner for intermediate learners

Prepositions of Manner which is also called Prepositions of Method express how a certain thing happens or is done. In this part, we will discuss them.

"Prepositions of Manner" in English Grammar

What Are Prepositions of Manner?

Prepositions of manner are used to describe the way or method in which an action is performed. They can provide information about how something is done.

Prepositions of Manner: Types

These prepositions can be classified into three groups listed below:

  • Prepositions of Agency
  • Prepositions of Method
  • Prepositions of Instrument and Device

Now, let us discuss two of the categories in more details.

Prepositions of Agency

There are two prepositions of agency that indicate who or what performed the action. Take a look at the following list:

Now, let us analyze each separately:


When we want to indicate that someone performed an action, we can use 'by' as a preposition. Study the following examples carefully:

There is also another book published by Andre Aciman.

All these grammar lessons were written by me.


'With' is commonly used as a preposition to indicate that someone or something is accompanying the doer of an action. Check out the following examples:

My therapist advised me to go to the ceremony with my brother.

As you can see, the doer of the action is accompanied by another person.

I want to clean the house with my father.


'With' can also function as a preposition of instrument and method. Compare the following examples:

How can you draw with a pen?

Here, the preposition is indicating that an instrument has been used to perform the action.

She broke my heart with a painful, glaring look.

Here, the preposition indicates the method with which the action was conducted.

Prepositions of Method

When we want to describe the way or method in which something is done, we often use prepositions of method. Prepositions of method are used to provide more specific information about how an action is performed. The following is a list of common prepositions of method in English:

Now, let us examine each one separately:


As mentioned above, 'in' can be used to state how something is done. Take a look at the following examples:

Can you write that in Japanese?

Weren't they in a hurry a minute ago?


'By' can be used when we want to indicate how something is done. Check out the following examples:

By reacting to her behavior, you only boost her ego.

Did you ever really think you could get away with it by lying?


Be careful that 'by' is both a preposition of method and agency. When it is used to show who did the action, it functions as a preposition of agency.


When we want to show that someone is playing a role or fulfilling a function, we often use 'as'. Study the following examples:

She has worked as a waitress for six months.

Have you ever thought of performing as Macbeth in Shakespeare's play?


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