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    #1

    By whom, who by or by who?

    We were writing an English exam and, among other things, there was a task in which we had to write the correct questions to given sentences.
    One of them was: John was told not to ask silly questions. Who _______?

    Now, I put here by (which was correct), but later I had a bit of a discussion with my teacher about whether Who by or By whom is more common.
    I think it is By whom, so what do you say? Who by?
    By whom?
    By who?
    Are they all even gramatically correct?

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    #2

    Re: By whom, who by or by who?

    By whom is correct, but preposition + whom is mostly found in formal language, especially writing. Who by sounds more natural to me for conversation and is more common.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: By whom, who by or by who?

    I think "Who told him that?" sounds better than "Who by?"
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: By whom, who by or by who?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I think "Who told him that?" sounds better than "Who by?"
    Yes, but Who _____? was already given.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: By whom, who by or by who?

    And you could use only one word?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: By whom, who by or by who?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    And you could use only one word?
    Yes

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: By whom, who by or by who?

    Then it is a very silly question. I might have answered "says".

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