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Thread: hit with/by

  1. #1
    panicmonger is offline Member
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    Default hit with/by

    Is there a difference between 'hit with' and 'hit by'

    Can I say when you are hit with sth, it means sth beats you; when you are hit by sth, it means that you are shot by sth?

    Have you discovered this discrepency?
    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: hit with/by

    Nobody has replied yet so I'll give it a try. I'm not a native English speaker as you know, so I may have some misconceptions about this.

    ***

    "By" introduces an agent, someone or something that, according to our perception, performs the action. "With" introduces an instrument, something that serves the agent to perform the action.

    I was hit by my brother with a stick. My brother hits so he is the agent. He uses a stick, which is therefore an instument.

    It's not a very common structure though. Often, when you use the passive voice, you do that because you want to omit the agent.

    I was hit with a stick. We don't know the agent but we do know that a stick was used to hit you.

    ***

    The agent does not have to be a person.

    I was hit by a car. Here, "a car" denotes the agent, not the instrument, even though a car is not a person. You may wonder whether cars are really capable of performing actions. Well, I don't know actually, but that's just how the English language sees it.

    You're not very likely to say,

    I was hit by a stick.

    We don't think of a stick as of the agent of hitting. Why can a car be an agent and a stick can't? I think that's because cars seem to have a will of their own and sticks don't. Do you know the etymology of the word "automobile"?
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 04-Dec-2010 at 19:12.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: hit with/by

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    Is there a difference between 'hit with' and 'hit by'

    Can I say when you are hit with sth, it means sth beats you; when you are hit by sth, it means that you are shot by sth?

    Have you discovered this discrepency?
    Thanks a lot.

    NOT A TEACHER


    Panicmonger,


    As birdeen's call said, there is a difference.

    Consider:

    When you cross the street, be very careful to make sure

    that you are not hit/struck by a car/bus/truck.

    Be very careful before you criticize other people. If you say

    something that is not true, you may be hit with a lawsuit.


    THANK YOU & HAVE A NICE DAY

  4. #4
    panicmonger is offline Member
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    Default Re: hit with/by

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    We don't think of a stick as of the agent of hitting. Why can a car be an agent and a stick can't? I think that's because cars seem to have a will of their own and sticks don't. Do you know the etymology of the word "automobile"?
    Maybe, it is because the prefix 'auto-' makes the car have a will of its own.
    Thank you, birdeen's call

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