What Is Their Main Difference?
'By' and 'with' as prepositions are used to show how something is done. Have a look:
You can open it
You can open it
We can use 'by' to refer to the agent who has done the action. These agents can be people, animals, situations, or objects. For example:
He was attacked
Here, the cat is the agent of the action.
The book was written
Here, the agent is the unknown author.
'With' is used to refer to a tool that is used to fulfill an action. These tools may be ingredients, body parts, or objects. Have a look:
He was fighting
Here, 'with' is used to show that the action is fulfilled using a tool which is 'a broken sword.'
The victim was murdered
Here, the tool is shown with the help of 'with.'
We can use 'by' and 'with' to talk about what means or methods were used to fulfill an action. Take a look at these examples:
I sent the documents
You can pay
'With' is also used to show two or more people or things are together in the same location. Have a look:
I saw him in town
While both 'with' and 'by' are both used with the passive voice but 'by' is more common than 'with.' For example:
The cake was made
The meal was prepared
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