Welcome to your “To” / “At” / “In” / “Into” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• When do we use “by”?
“By” with transportation
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When do we use “by”?

We use “by” in expressions to express how something is done:

Send something by emailPay for something by cheque
Contact someone by textMake something by hand

I’d like to pay by cheque, can I?

I’ll send the document by mail.”

Note that we say “pay cash” or “pay in cash” (not pay by cash”)

We also say “by chance”, “by accident”, “by mistake”:

I didn’t plan to meet him, we met by chance.”

But we say “do something on purpose”:

They didn’t do it on purpose, it was an accident.”

Notice that we say “pay by cheque” and not “pay by a cheque.

“By” with transportation

We also use “by” to talk about how someone travels:

by carby busby planeby bikeby boat
by roadby railby airby undergroundby sea

I usually go to work by bike.”

Do you prefer to travel by air or by sea?

However we say “on foot”:

“I went to the town centre on foot.”

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