Student or Learner
In the following statements, when is correct to use the word by (if ever)
a) Come and sit by me
b) Come and sit with me
a) Down by the river
b) Down near the river
I live in South Africa, and one of the languages spoken here is Afrikaans. In Afrikaans, one would say "Kom sit hier by my" (Translated would be Come and sit with me) however many people use more of a direct translation, resulting in "Come and sit by me".
So basically I'd like to know if it is ever ok to use the word 'by' in this sort of context.