Difference Wiki

By vs. With: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on November 23, 2023
"By" often indicates the agent or means of an action, while "With" denotes association or accompaniment.

Key Differences

"By" is a versatile preposition that can point to the agent performing an action, especially in passive voice structures. For instance, "The book was written by the author" showcases "by" introducing the doer of the action. Furthermore, "By" can also describe means or methods. In "I travel by train," it signifies the mode of transportation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023
Conversely, "With" primarily serves to convey association, accompaniment, or possession. When someone says, "I'm going with my friends," it emphasizes companionship. Similarly, "Coffee with sugar" indicates the addition of sugar to the coffee, suggesting a combination of elements.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023
In many situations, "By" and "With" can describe tools or instruments used in an action, but their application differs. "By" typically focuses on the means or method, like "I sent it by email." "With," on the other hand, stresses the instrument or tool itself, such as "I cut it with a knife."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023
Moreover, both "By" and "With" can indicate proximity, but their nuances differ. "By the window" suggests location near the window, while "With the window open" conveys a condition or state of the window. To sum up, while both prepositions can overlap in certain contexts, understanding their individual connotations is key to accurate usage.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Agent or means of an action
Association or accompaniment
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023
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Instrument/Tool

Indicates means/method
Emphasizes the tool itself
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Examples

"By car," "By the author"
"With a fork," "With my brother"
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Association

Can indicate agent in passive structures
Denotes companionship or combination
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

Proximity/Condition

Location near something
Condition or state of something
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

By and With Definitions

By

Indicates means or method
She travels by plane.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 20, 2023
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With

Shows accompaniment
She came with her sister.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 20, 2023

By

Close to; next to
The window by the door.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Indicates a tool or method
He wrote with a pen.
Harlon Moss
Oct 20, 2023

By

With the use or help of; through
We came by the back road.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Points to inclusion
Coffee with cream.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 20, 2023

By

Up to and beyond; past
We drove by the house.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the company of; accompanying
Did you go with her?.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

At or to
Stopped by the bakery.
Came by the house.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Next to; alongside of
Stood with the rabbi.
Sat with the family.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

In the period of; during
Sleeping by day.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Having as a possession, attribute, or characteristic
Arrived with bad news.
A man with a moustache.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Not later than
By 5:30 PM.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Used as a function word to indicate accompanying detail or condition
Just sat there with his mouth open.
A patient with a bad back.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

In the amount of
Letters by the thousands.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In a manner characterized by
Performed with skill.
Spoke with enthusiasm.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

To the extent of
Shorter by two inches.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the performance, use, or operation of
Had trouble with the car.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

According to
Played by the rules.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the charge or keeping of
Left the cat with the neighbors.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

With respect to
Siblings by blood.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the opinion or estimation of
If it's all right with you.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

In the name of
Swore by the Bible to tell the truth.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In support of; on the side of
I'm with anyone who wants to help the homeless.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Through the agency or action of
Was killed by a bullet.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Of the same opinion or belief as
He is with us on that issue.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Used to indicate a succession of specified individuals, groups, or quantities
One by one they left. They were persuaded little by little.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the same group or mixture as; among
Planted onions with the carrots.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Used in multiplication and division
Multiply 4 by 6 to get 24.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the membership or employment of
Plays with a jazz band.
Is with a publishing company.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Used with measurements
A room 12 by 18 feet.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

By the means or agency of
Eat with a fork.
Made us laugh with his jokes.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Toward. Used to express direction with points of the compass
South by east.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

By the presence or use of
A pillow stuffed with feathers.
Balloons filled with helium.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

On hand; nearby
Stand by.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In spite of
With all her experience, she could not get a job.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Aside; away
We put it by for later.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the same direction as
Sail with the wind.
Flow with the river.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Up to, alongside, and past
The car raced by.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

At the same time as
Gets up with the birds.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

At or to one's home or current location
Stop by later today.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In regard to
We are pleased with her decision. They are disgusted with the status quo.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Into the past
As years go by.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Used as a function word to indicate a party to an action, communicative activity, or informal agreement or settlement
Played with the dog.
Had a talk with the class.
Lives with an aunt.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Variant of bye1.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In comparison or contrast to
A car identical with the one her sister just bought.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Near or next to.
The mailbox is by the bus stop.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Having received
With her permission, he left. I escaped with just a few bruises.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

From one side of something to the other, passing close by; past.
The stream runs by our back door.
He ran straight by me.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

And; plus
My books, with my brother's, make a sizable library. We had turkey with all the trimmings.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Not later than (the given time); not later than the end of (the given time interval).
Be back by ten o'clock!.
We'll find someone by the end of March.
We will send it by the first week of July.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Inclusive of; including
Comes to $29.95 with postage and handling.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Indicates the person or thing that does or causes something: Through the action or presence of.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In opposition to; against
Wrestling with an opponent.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Following a passive verb.
The matter was decided by the chairman.
The boat was swamped by the water.
He was protected by his body armour.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

As a result or consequence of
Trembling with fear.
Sick with the flu.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Following a noun.
There was a call by the unions for a 30% pay rise.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

So as to be touching or joined to
Coupled the first car with the second.
Linked arms with their partners.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

(not in common modern use) Following an adjective.
I was aghast by what I saw.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

So as to be free of or separated from
Parted with her husband.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Indicates the creator of a work: Existing through the authorship etc. of.
There are many well-known plays by William Shakespeare
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the course of
We grow older with the hours.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Indicates a means of achieving something: Involving/using the means of.
I avoided the guards by moving only when they weren't looking.
By Pythagoras' theorem, we can calculate the length of the hippopotamus.
We went by bus.
I discovered it by chance.
By 'maybe' she means 'no'.
The electricity was cut off, so we had to read by candlelight.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In proportion to
Wines that improve with age.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Indicates an authority according to which something is done.
By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In relationship to
At ease with my peers.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Invokes an authority in an oath.
By Jove! I think she's got it!
By all that is holy, I'll put an end to this.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Being the partner of in a romantic relationship
In April, I will have been with my husband 24 years.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Indicates a means of classification or organisation.
I sorted the items by category.
Table 1 shows details of our employees broken down by sex and age.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

As well as; in favorable comparison to
She could sing with the best of them.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Indicates the amount of change, difference or discrepancy
Our stock is up by ten percent.
His date of birth was wrong by ten years.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

According to the experience or practice of
With me, it is a question of priorities.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

In the formulae X by X and by Xs, indicates a steady progression, one X after another.
We went through the book page by page.
We crawled forward by inches.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Used as a function word to indicate close association
With the advent of the rockets, the Space Age began.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Acted on in units of the specified size or measure. (Sometimes hyperbolically)
Sold by the yard; cheaper if bought by the gross
He drinks brandy by the bucketful!
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

As company; along
We're going to the movies. Are you coming with?.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Per; with or in proportion to each.
His health was deteriorating by the day.
The pickers are paid by the bushel.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Against.
He picked a fight with the class bully.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Indicates a referenced source: According to.
He cheated by his own admission.
By my reckoning, we should be nearly there.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the company of; alongside, close to; near to.
He went with his friends.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Used to separate dimensions when describing the size of something.
It is easy to invert a 2-by-2 matrix.
The room was about 4 foot by 6 foot.
The bricks used to build the wall measured 10 by 20 by 30 cm.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In addition to; as an accessory to.
She owns a motorcycle with a sidecar.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

(horse breeding) Designates a horse's male parent (sire); cf. out of.
She's a lovely little filly, by Big Lad, out of Damsel in Distress.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Used to add supplemental information, especially to indicate simultaneous happening, or immediate succession or consequence.
Jim was listening to Bach with his eyes closed.
The match result was 10-5, with John scoring three goals.
With a heavy sigh, she looked around the empty room.
Four people were injured, with one of them in critical condition.
With their reputation on the line, they decided to fire their PR team.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

At, with, among
Are you eating by Rabbi Fischer? (at the house of)
By Chabad, it's different. (with, among)
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In support of. redundant to be with#English?
We are with you all the way.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Along a path which runs past the speaker.
I watched as it passed by.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In regard to.
There are a number of problems with your plan.
What on Earth is wrong with my keyboard?
He was pleased with the outcome.
I'm upset with my father.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

In the vicinity, near.
There was a shepherd close by.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

(obsolete) To denote the accomplishment of cause, means, instrument, etc; – sometimes equivalent to by.
Slain with robbers
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

To or at a place, as a residence or place of business.
I'll stop by on my way home from work.
We're right near the lifeguard station. Come by before you leave.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Using as an instrument; by means of.
Cut with a knife
I water my plants with this watering can. This is the watering can I water my plants with.
Find what you want instantly with our search engine.
They dismissed the meeting with a wave of their hand.
Speak with a confident voice.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Aside, away.
The women spent much time after harvest putting jams by for winter and spring.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

(obsolete) Using as nourishment; more recently replaced by on.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Out of the way, off to one side.
A by path, a by room
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Having, owning.
It was small and bumpy, with a tinge of orange.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Subsidiary, incidental.
By catch, a by issue
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Affected by (a certain emotion or condition).
Speak with confidence.
He spoke with sadness in his voice.
The sailors were infected with malaria.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Prompted by (a certain emotion).
Overcome with happiness
Green with envy; flushed with success
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Alternative spelling of bye.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

In the employment of.
She's was with Acme for twenty years before retiring last fall.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

In the neighborhood of; near or next to; not far from; close to; along with; as, come and sit by me.
By foundation or by shady rivuletHe sought them both.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Keeping up with; understanding; following along.
That was a lot to explain, are you still with me?
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

On; along; in traversing. Compare 5.
Long labors both by sea and land he bore.
By land, by water, they renew the charge.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

(US) Along, together with others, in a group, etc.
Do you want to come with?
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Near to, while passing; hence, from one to the other side of; past; as, to go by a church.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

Alternative form of withe
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Used in specifying adjacent dimensions; as, a cabin twenty feet by forty.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

See Withe.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Against.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

With denotes or expresses some situation or relation of nearness, proximity, association, connection, or the like.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

With, as means, way, process, etc.; through means of; with aid of; through; through the act or agency of; as, a city is destroyed by fire; profit is made by commerce; to take by force.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

To denote a close or direct relation of opposition or hostility; - equivalent to against.
Thy servant will . . . fight with this Philistine.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Near; in the neighborhood; present; as, there was no person by at the time.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

To denote association in respect of situation or environment; hence, among; in the company of.
I will buy with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you.
Pity your own, or pity our estate,Nor twist our fortunes with your sinking fate.
See where on earth the flowery glories lie;With her they flourished, and with her they die.
There is no living with thee nor without thee.
Such arguments had invincible force with those pagan philosophers.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Passing near; going past; past; beyond; as, the procession has gone by; a bird flew by.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

To denote a connection of friendship, support, alliance, assistance, countenance, etc.; hence, on the side of.
Fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Aside; as, to lay by; to put by.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

To denote the accomplishment of cause, means, instrument, etc; - sometimes equivalent to by.
That with these fowls I be all to-rent.
Thou wilt be like a lover presently,And tire the hearer with a book of words.
[He] entertained a coffeehouse with the following narrative.
With receiving your friends within and amusing them without, you lead a good, pleasant, bustling life of it.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Out of the common path; aside; - used in composition, giving the meaning of something aside, secondary, or incidental, or collateral matter, a thing private or avoiding notice; as, by-line, by-place, by-play, by-street. It was formerly more freely used in composition than it is now; as, by-business, by-concernment, by-design, by-interest, etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

To denote association in thought, as for comparison or contrast.
Can blazing carbuncles with her compare.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

So as to pass a given point;
Every hour a train goes past
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

To denote simultaneous happening, or immediate succession or consequence.
With that she told me . . . that she would hide no truth from me.
With her they flourished, and with her they die.
With this he pointed to his face.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

In reserve; not for immediate use;
Started setting aside money to buy a car
Put something by for her old age
Has a nestegg tucked away for a rainy day
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

With

To denote having as a possession or an appendage; as, the firmament with its stars; a bride with a large fortune.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 13, 2023

By

Denotes agent or doer
The song was sung by Adele.
Janet White
Oct 20, 2023

With

Describes a condition
The room with the blue walls is mine.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 20, 2023

By

Points to a deadline or end time
Finish this by noon.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 20, 2023

With

Represents opposition
I disagreed with his opinion.
Sara Rehman
Oct 20, 2023

By

Suggests proximity
Stand by the door.
Sara Rehman
Oct 20, 2023

By

Describes a factor difference
They won by a point.
Sara Rehman
Oct 20, 2023

FAQs

Can "With" be about opposition?

Yes, like "I argued with him."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Does "By" always refer to the means of an action?

Often, but it can also suggest proximity or deadlines.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Can "By" and "With" be interchangeable?

Sometimes, but they often have distinct meanings.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

When do we use "By" for proximity?

In contexts like "by the window" or "by the sea."
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

Can "With" indicate a condition?

Yes, e.g., "With the lights off, it was dark."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

How does "With" show inclusion?

As in "Coffee with milk."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Does "With" always denote companionship?

Not always, it can also indicate tools, methods, or conditions.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

When is "By" used in passive structures?

To indicate the agent or doer, e.g., "Painted by Picasso."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Does "With" always need a noun after it?

Typically yes, denoting what is associated or accompanying.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Can "By" denote frequency?

Yes, e.g., "I go there by the week."
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Can "By" suggest a difference in measure?

Yes, like "He's taller by two inches."
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

And "With"?

It's a preposition.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Can "With" denote a method?

Yes, but it emphasizes the instrument, like "with a brush."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

What's the key difference between "By" and "With"?

"By" often points to means or agent, "With" to association or accompaniment.
Sara Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Can "With" mean "having"?

Yes, like "A lady with a red hat."
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

How does "With" indicate possession?

In phrases like "A man with a plan."
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

What part of speech is "By"?

It's primarily a preposition.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Can "By" start a phrase?

Yes, like "By doing this, you help everyone."
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023

Is "With" used in expressions of feelings?

Yes, e.g., "I'm with you" or "With regret."
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

Does "By" always precede an agent in passive voice?

Most often, to show who performed the action.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise 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.

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