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    • Join Date: Oct 2005
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    The use of "BY"

    Hi can you help please professor,
    Can you tell me why the word by is used in the following sentence when it isnīt needed.
    I save money by doing my own cooking

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      • Canada
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    • Join Date: Sep 2005
    • Posts: 92
    #2

    Re: The use of "BY"

    No, I can't. It's language not mathematics we're studying here.

    In English, you have the choice:

    I save money by doing my own cooking

    I save money doing my own cooking

    There's some stylistic ellipsis going on here, that's all.

  1. #3

    Re: The use of "BY"

    Hello JJM Ballantyne
    I'm with you. I'd like to study language, too.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #4

    Re: The use of "BY"

    Welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyp
    I save money by doing my own cooking
    Additionally, there is a method to the mathness. Call it "efficiency".

    Both the preposition "by" and the adverb of means "doing my own cooking" express a means. The former expresses it in a word, whereas the latter expresses it in its function. "by" is redundant. The meaning it expresses is already housed within its object's structural function.

    EX: I saved money. How/By what means? By doing my own cooking.
    EX: I saved money. How/By what means? Doing my own cooking.

    With or without "by", the phrase "(by) doing my own cooking" functions as an adverb of means, which makes "by" superfluous in context.

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