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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    Write your answer with a black pen

    Can a's "with" be replaced with "by"? And b's "through" by "by or with"?
    I think "with" is mostly for tools, "by" for "actions or vehicles" and "through" is vague.
    Prepositions for means or method like "by, with, through" don't seem to have clear distinctions.

    a)Write your answer with(by?) a black pen, not with(by?) a red one.
    b)Distance learning through(by? with?) the Internet is becoming more popular.

    hgi162

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Write your answer with a black pen

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Can a's "with" be replaced with "by"? And b's "through" by "by or with"?
    I think "with" is mostly for tools, "by" for "actions or vehicles" and "through" is vague.
    Prepositions for means or method like "by, with, through" don't seem to have clear distinctions.

    a)Write your answer with(by?) a black pen, not with(by?) a red one.
    b)Distance learning through(by? with?) the Internet is becoming more popular.

    hgi162
    In a), only "with" is possible.
    In b) "with" is possible.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Write your answer with a black pen

    Could you tell me the reason in detail?

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Write your answer with a black pen

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Could you tell me the reason in detail?
    "Write your answer by a black pen" is not natural English. No native speaker would say that.

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Write your answer with a black pen

    You seem to say "with" and "through" are interchangeable in terms of means.So can you use either with or through but not by for "You can connect to the internet with(through) this cell phone"?

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    #6

    Re: Write your answer with a black pen

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Can a's "with" be replaced with "by"? And b's "through" by "by or with"?
    I think "with" is mostly for tools, "by" for "actions or vehicles" and "through" is vague.
    Prepositions for means or method like "by, with, through" don't seem to have clear distinctions.

    a)Write your answer with(by?) a black pen, not with(by?) a red one.
    b)Distance learning through(by? with?) the Internet is becoming more popular.

    hgi162
    The pen is a tool for writing; thus 'with' is the natural choice of preposition.

  6. keannu's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Write your answer with a black pen

    Is it because "by" is usually used as a doer like in passive tenses? So black pen can't be a doer?

  7. sumon.'s Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Write your answer with a black pen

    Not a teacher
    I understand why you are trying to use 'by'( It's specially for mother tongue) . But 'pen' can not be a 'doer'. The writer is the the 'doer' and he writes with the pen.
    Last edited by sumon.; 28-Feb-2012 at 14:03.

  8. SirGod's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Write your answer with a black pen

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Is it because "by" is usually used as a doer like in passive tenses? So black pen can't be a doer?
    * Not a teacher

    You try to find (at least you seem doing that) an explanation for everything. I am sorry to disappoint you, but you will not find an explanation for everything neither in English nor in other languages. It merely is that way. Your posts show me that you have a very good command of English, so why do you bother making English an indefinite set of rules?

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    #10

    Re: Write your answer with a black pen

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGod View Post
    It merely is that way. ... why do you bother making English an indefinite set of rules?
    This seems like very strange advice to me. How is a learner (or even a native speaker!) supposed to know when to stop cataloging the rules? Often you'll get to "that's just the way it is" only to find out the person* claiming this is wrong.


    *I'm not suggesting anything personal here.

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