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    #1

    In/by/through

    "He possesses strong writing skills, which he has honed in/by/through working as a translator."

    Would you say there's a difference in meaning among "in," "by," and "through"?

    Thanks.


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    #2

    Re: In/by/through

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    "He possesses strong writing skills, which he has honed in/by/through working as a translator."

    Would you say there's a difference in meaning among "in," "by," and "through"?

    Thanks.
    "By " looks a better choice here.You can say:
    "I earned a lot of money by working hard"
    OR
    "I earned a lot of money through hardwork"

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    #3

    Re: In/by/through

    Quote Originally Posted by shoaib 1 View Post
    "By " looks a better choice here.You can say:
    "I earned a lot of money by working hard"
    OR
    "I earned a lot of money through hardwork"
    I think all three are correct.

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    #4

    Re: In/by/through

    I would say all three are ok.
    "He possesses strong writing skills, which he has honed in/by/through working as a translator."

    All three are normally prepositions. But 'in' is an adverb here: how he sharpened his skills. He made them tighter, finer, more cutting.

    He honed in his skills. (He couldn't be 'in' his skills.)

    "He possesses strong writing skills, which he has honed/sharpened in his work as a translator." Here 'in' is a preposition again. He can be 'in' his work.

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    #5

    Re: In/by/through

    Any reason why not?

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    #6

    Re: In/by/through

    According to my dictionary, "in" can mean "as a consequence of something." The following example is given: "In reaching for a glass she knocked over the ashtray."

    Isn't "in" used in that sense in the sentence I provided?

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    #7

    Re: In/by/through

    "He possesses strong writing skills, which he has honed in/by/through working as a translator."

    I wouldn't say 'in' in in your sentence was the same. 'honed' or 'honed in' means sharpened. Replace 'honed' with sharpened, and you still have a good sentence using 'by' or 'through', but not so good with 'in'. You have a kind of passive sentence here. You are talking about his skills, but his skills have done nothing. He has done something to them. He used an instrument to do that. This we indicate with 'by' or 'through (the instrument of)'. 'in' does not indicate an instrument, rather a location. Where are you? I'm in working/work. You probably wouldn't say, 'working' here. That's why I read 'in' as an adverb, roughly 'honed finer his skills'

    In your last example, you could easily replace 'In' with 'by' or 'through'.

    "In (the act of) reaching for a glass she knocked over the ashtray." This is an active sentence.
    The ashtray was knocked over by her (reaching for a glass). I don't think you would use 'in' here.

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