Difference Between By and Through

Main Difference

Both words are used as a preposition at times. But observing them deeply both differ largely in their meanings and usages. As both the words are a preposition in The English language, A real proposition is known as a term combined with some sort of noun or pronoun to exhibit location, position, time, or process. By is used to denote when someone wants to depict ‘”close to or near to something or someone or up to and beyond someone and something or when or when denoting at some place” .whereas through is commonly used pertaining to a process, procedure or course of action. To understand the difference between through and by, these two words are discussed and analyzed in detail as follows


It is used in many meanings and sentence structures. It is used as a preposition, adverb, adjective and sometimes in idioms. Most of them are listed below with examples.

  • It is used to depict the vicinity, nearness or closeness to someone or something, for example, he is sitting by the door
  • it is used by means of or even through the medium of something, for example, he entered by the front gate
  • It is used to when the period of time is mentioned for example: by afternoon, by morning, by day, by dinner time, by 2 a.m, by 3 p.m
  • It is used to show the magnitude, extent or quantity or amount of something for example, He is smarter than his brother by 2 inches.
  • It is used to show the degree of past, or when something is over, for example, Gone are the days, in the past gone by
  • it is used to put something to put aside for example: Put your work by and let us go for the shopping
  • it is used as the purpose term to point out consecutive units as well as steps for example large by large or walk three by three
  • It is used in mathematics to show the multiplication and division.for example: divide ten by seven, multiply seven by six
  • It is also used to show the point of opinion or degree of agreementfor example, it is ok by you?


Through can also be used as a preposition, adjective, and adverb. In a preposition followed by a noun like they were passing through a jungle. In an adverb through is used without following a noun like there is a tiny orifice in the umbrella from where the rain is coming through. it is also used as adjectives like he is a through some situation. Its usage and sentence structure are listed below.

  • It is used in the sense of cutting something into pieces for example, A worker had been drilling through the cement wall structure.
  • The bottoms associated with their sneakers have been almost worn through in areas. Employees had sliced through a power wire while they were digging.
  • It is used to indicate the period of time, for example, he was in love with her all through her life.
  • It is applied as a function word to point out motion or mobility, for example, he flew through the clouds in the airplane
  • It is also used to indicate the particular set of circumstances, for example, the pain he was suffering put him through the hell.

Key Differences

  1. By is used to describe the specific time period whereas through is used to denote the time during the whole period
  2. By is used to indicate the location which is nearby whereas through indicates one location to another
  3. By term is used to depict the origin or result of something whereas through is used in the manner in which a task is fulfilled.
  4. By is used to define the amount, size or margin whereas through is used to indicate the extent of something
  5. By can be used in multiplicative terms whereas through cannot use in this perspective.

Comparison Video

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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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