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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    He was shot by a pistol?

    Why not by for the below? I think if you use by, it would mean "A pistol shot him", but sometimes "by" is also used as tool or method like "with", so "with" and "by" seem interchangeable.

    ex)He was shot with(by) a pistol.

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    #2

    Re: He was shot by a pistol?

    Take a look at this thread: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...35985-hit.html

    "He was shot by a pistol" is not an ungrammatical sentence, but it's strange. We don't usually think of a pistol as the agent of shooting. We consider it a tool. You're right that the sentence would mean exactly the same as, "A pistol shot him." We wouldn't say this one either.

    Yes, "by" can introduce a method, as in, "He was killed by hanging." But a pistol is not a method--it's a tool!

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: He was shot by a pistol?

    Using 'by' suggests that it was nobody's fault. It does sound odd, but one could imagine it being used in a context such as this: 'The crowd was jubilant, setting off fireworks and discharging all sorts of firearms into the air. Accidentally, someone was shot by a pistol that was badly aimed.'

    b

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