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Thread: stop by/stop at

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    #1

    stop by/stop at

    Suppose my family and I were driving to another city. We needed to travel through a highway. Halfway through the highway, we stopped to eat and rest.

    During our travel, we stopped at/by a rest area to eat.

    Which preposition is correct here?
    I am a fleeting visitor on this fragile Earth.

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    #2

    Re: stop by/stop at

    First of all, we do not travel through a highway. Your sentences should be:
    We needed to travel by highway. Halfway there, we stopped to eat and rest.


    I'm sure you stopped at a rest area. If you stopped by a rest area, you were on an adjacent property, but not at the rest area itself.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: stop by/stop at

    In that context, you certainly stopped at a rest area. We use "stop by" (phrasal verb) to mean that we visit someone or something, usually spontaneously or briefly.

    Jane knocks on Sarah's front door. Sarah opens the door.
    Sarah: Oh, hi Jane! What are you doing here?
    Jane: I was in the area so I thought I'd stop by. I hope it's not inconvenient.
    Sarah: No, it's great to see you. Come in. I'll make some coffee.

    John: Dad, do we need anything from the supermarket?
    Dad: We could do with some eggs but I thought you were going to the gym.
    John: I am, but I'm going to stop by/swing by the supermarket on the way home.
    Dad: Great. In that case, get a dozen eggs please.

    Note that "stop by", as a phrasal verb, is used differently from using "stop" (verb) + "by" preposition.

    I stopped by ... the supermarket = I went into the supermarket (probably briefly and probably on the way to/from somewhere else).
    I stopped ... by the supermarket = I stopped walking/driving in a location that was next to the supermarket. I didn't go in.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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