By vs. From

'From' and 'by' are prepositions in the English lngauage. In this lesson, we will learn their uses and differences.

"By" vs. "From" in the English grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The prepositions 'from' and 'by' have different meanings and uses in English. In some contexts, they can both be used, but with different meanings; while in other contexts only one of them can be used.

Talking about Position

We can use 'from' and 'by' to talk about the position of something or someone, but their meanings are different. 'From' is used to show distance or separation in space; while 'by' is used to show that something is near another thing or person. Have a look:

We could see the vocalist from where we sat.

The store is located two miles from my house.

There is a great view from her apartment's window.

Anna is standing by the table.

Here, 'by' means next to or close to.

The car was parked by the curb.

Talking about Time

We can use 'from' and 'by' to talk about a specific time. 'From' is used to indicate the starting point of a period of time. 'By' is used to show that something occurs 'no later than' a particular time. For example:

The store is open from 9:00 AM.

I will be on vacation from July 1st to July 10th.

I will finish the project by Friday.

The train is scheduled to arrive by noon.

Talking about Agency

'By' is often used to refer to the person or entity responsible for an action or outcome, while 'from' is not used in this way. Note that in this usage, 'by' is mainly used in passive voice. take a look at the examples:

The book is written by sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This diary was written by queen Victoria herself.

The report was prepared by the research team.

Talking about Origin

We can use 'from' to talk bout the source or origin of objects, ideas, places, and people as well as the material or substance that something is made of. 'By' is not used in this way. Here are some examples:

She is from London.

The flowers were picked from the garden.

The table is made from oak.

material

Talking about Instrumentation

'By' can be used to indicate the instrument or tool used to accomplish an action, or the means and method by which something is done or accomplished. For example:

The sculpture was carved by a chisel.

We traveled to New York by plane.

By From
Talking about Position
Talking about Time
Talking about Agency
Talking about Origin
Talking about Instrumentation

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