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Thread: by + gerund

  1. #1
    wynnmyintuu's Avatar
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    Unhappy by + gerund

    Can we always answer every "How" question with "by + gerund"?
    For example, "Q: How did you pass the exam? Ans: By working hard."
    I think not every "How" question can be answer with "by + gerund".
    For example, "Q : How did he become rich? Ans: Because a book he wrote became a best-seller in 16 countries."
    I think we cannot answer the question in my second example with "by + gerund".
    Am I right? If not, someone correct me please.

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    Talking Re: by + gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by wynnmyintuu View Post
    Can we always answer every "How" question with "by + gerund"?
    For example, "Q: How did you pass the exam? Ans: By working hard."
    I think not every "How" question can be answer with "by + gerund".
    For example, "Q : How did he become rich? Ans: Because a book he wrote became a best-seller in 16 countries."
    I think we cannot answer the question in my second example with "by + gerund".
    Am I right? If not, someone correct me please.
    It's very usual to answer "How..." with "by+gerund" as we did here.
    However, I think "Because a book he wrote became a best-seller in 16 countries." is still OK.

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    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: by + gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by wynnmyintuu View Post
    Can we always answer every "How" question with "by + gerund"?
    No. Not always.

    "How was your breakfast this morning?"

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    Default Re: by + gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by wynnmyintuu View Post
    Can we always answer every "How" question with "by + gerund"?
    For example, "Q: How did you pass the exam? Ans: By working hard."
    I think not every "How" question can be answer with "by + gerund".
    For example, "Q : How did he become rich? Ans: Because a book he wrote became a best-seller in 16 countries."
    I think we cannot answer the question in my second example with "by + gerund".
    Am I right? If not, someone correct me please.
    What about this one?
    "Q: How did you know my address? Ans: Your classmate gave me."
    I wonder if "by+gerund" can be used for this one.
    I was wrong in saying "every 'how' question. I should have said "'how' questions with action verbs, asking about deliberate actions.
    What I mean is "by + gerund should be used in answer only when the action is a deliberate one.

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    Default Re: by + gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by wynnmyintuu View Post
    What about this one?
    "Q: How did you know my address? Ans: Your classmate gave me."
    I wonder if "by+gerund" can be used for this one.
    I was wrong in saying "every 'how' question. I should have said "'how' questions with action verbs, asking about deliberate actions.
    What I mean is "by + gerund should be used in answer only when the action is a deliberate one.
    No, your last presumption is wrong.
    A: How did you know my address?
    B: I overheard someone mention it on the bus." ("By overhearing someone mentioning it on the bus"). This is not a deliberate action. (At least B might claim it was not deliberate to listen to someone else's conversation.)

    "How" can mean various things. If the meaning is "By what mechanism ...?", you could normally use a "By ....ing ...." answer.

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