Difference Wiki

By vs. From: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on November 30, 2023
"By" often indicates the agent performing an action or a method used, while "from" denotes origin, source, or separation.

Key Differences

"By" is commonly used to identify the agent or cause of an action, as in "The cake was baked by Jane." It emphasizes the doer of an action. On the other hand, "from" is used to indicate the source, origin, or starting point, as in "She received a gift from her friend." It focuses on where something starts or comes from.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023
In terms of method or means, "by" suggests the way something is done, like in "He travels by train." It highlights the process or means. Conversely, "from" can signify the point of departure or change, as in "The temperature dropped from 20 to 10 degrees." It indicates a starting point in a range or sequence.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023
"By" also sets a deadline, implying a time before which something happens, as in "Finish your work by 5 PM." It sets a temporal boundary. Contrastingly, "from" can be used to show duration, starting at a point in time, such as in "The shop is open from 9 AM to 5 PM," indicating the beginning of a time period.
Huma Saeed
Nov 30, 2023
Spatially, "by" can denote proximity, suggesting nearness or alongside, as in "The house by the lake." It implies closeness. In contrast, "from" can express a point of origin in terms of space, like in "He walked from the store to his home," indicating movement away from a place.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023
"By" is also used in passive constructions to identify the agent, as in "The novel was written by her." It links actions to their performers. "From" is used to express differentiation or contrast, as in "Different from her opinion," highlighting a point of difference.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Agent of Action

Indicates who performs an action
Denotes the source or origin of something
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Method or Means

Describes how something is done
Shows the starting point or origin
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Temporal Usage

Sets a deadline or time limit
Indicates the beginning of a time period
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Spatial Relation

Implies proximity or nearness
Expresses movement away or origin in space
Janet White
Nov 30, 2023

Usage in Sentences

Often used in passive voice
Used to show contrast or differentiation
Harlon Moss
Nov 30, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

By and From Definitions

By

Indicating who performs an action.
The painting was completed by a famous artist.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

From

Denoting a point of departure or differentiation.
She walked away from the crowd.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

By

Describing the method used.
She travels by bus.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

From

Showing a transition or transformation.
He changed from happy to sad quickly.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 16, 2023

By

Setting a deadline for an action.
The report must be submitted by Monday.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 16, 2023

From

Indicating what something is made of.
The table is made from wood.
Janet White
Nov 16, 2023

By

Denoting nearness to a place or object.
The cafe is right by the museum.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

From

Indicating the starting point or source.
He comes from Canada.
Huma Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

By

Used in passive sentences to indicate the doer.
The song was written by him.
Janet White
Nov 16, 2023

From

Marking the beginning of a duration.
The store is open from 9 AM.
Sara Rehman
Nov 16, 2023

By

Close to; next to
The window by the door.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

From

Used to indicate a specified place or time as a starting point
Walked home from the station.
From six o'clock on. See Usage Notes at escape, whence.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

By

With the use or help of; through
We came by the back road.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

From

Used to indicate a specified point as the first of two limits
From grades four to six.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

From

Used to indicate a source, cause, agent, or instrument
A note from the teacher.
Taking a book from the shelf.
Sara Rehman
Nov 15, 2023

FAQs

What does "by" indicate in a sentence?

"By" often indicates the agent performing an action or a method used.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Can "by" be used to set deadlines?

Yes, "by" is used to indicate a time before which something should occur.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

What does "from" express in terms of time?

"From" marks the beginning of a time period.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 30, 2023

Is "by" used in passive voice constructions?

Yes, "by" is common in passive voice to identify the agent.
Janet White
Nov 30, 2023

How is "by" used to show proximity?

"By" indicates closeness to a location or object.
Janet White
Nov 30, 2023

Can "by" imply authorization or approval?

Yes, in contexts like "approved by the board."
Harlon Moss
Nov 30, 2023

How is "from" used to denote origin?

"From" is used to specify the starting point or source of something.
Huma Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

How does "from" work in historical contexts?

"From" can indicate the start of a historical period.
Harlon Moss
Nov 30, 2023

Is "by" used to specify frequency?

No, "by" typically doesn't denote frequency.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 30, 2023

How does "from" function in geographical references?

It specifies the starting location in a journey.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Can "by" be used in mathematical expressions?

Yes, like "divided by" in division.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Can "by" denote means of transportation?

Yes, "by" can describe how someone travels, like "by car."
Janet White
Nov 30, 2023

What role does "from" play in showing contrast?

"From" is used to highlight differences, as in "different from."
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

What does "from" mean in culinary terms?

"From" can denote the origin of ingredients.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

What does "from" mean in technological contexts?

It can refer to the source of data or information.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

How does "from" indicate spatial relationships?

"From" is used to express movement away from a place.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Can "from" describe material composition?

Yes, "from" can specify what something is made of.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Can "from" be used in expressions of emotion?

Yes, like "from happiness to sadness."
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

Does "by" have a role in musical contexts?

Yes, indicating the creator of music or lyrics.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023

How does "by" function in legal texts?

"By" can imply conformity to laws or regulations.
Sara Rehman
Nov 30, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons