Speaking of the preposition ‘by’, can you think of the ways in which it can be used? It can be used to talk about transportation, for example ‘I go to school by bus’. Alternatively, it can also be used in passive sentences, such as ‘The question was answered by the teacher’. Apart from these two usages, can you think of any other ways to use the word, ‘by’?


1. To describe ‘before a certain time’


Please arrive at the examination hall by 9am. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take part in the examination.


2. To describe ‘beside somewhere’


The children are reading by the lake.


3. To describe ‘go by/ pass by’


To me, Mr. Chan is an unfriendly neighbor. He always passes by without greeting.


4. To express agreement


Mum, can I sleep over at Anna’s house for a night?

That’s fine by me, but you should also get permission from your dad too.


5. To describe ‘according to’


I think my watch has stopped working. What is the time by your watch?


6. To describe ‘a unit’


The part-time piano teacher gets paid by the hour.


7. To describe ‘communication’


Please feel free to contact me by email during working hours.


8. To describe ‘physical contact’


The father holds his daughter firmly by her hand when crossing the road.