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Preposition "by" and noun combinations 

Hi everyone, welcome to episode 68 of the Art of Business English podcast. This week I am continuing my series on prepositions and noun combinations. Today, I have a quick episode on the preposition “by” with nouns.

If you missed last week’s episode then I encourage you to go back and take a look at it. In episode 67 I explain in detail how preposition and noun combinations are formed.

this week however, I am just going to jump straight in and provide you with a list of 20 preposition “by” and noun combinations.

As usual, I have divided the episode into the following parts.

  1. A list of 20 common noun combinations with the preposition “by”
  2. The translation for these combinations
  3. Some sample sentences in use

Once again, it’s great having you with me and I hope you love this episode.

Let’s get started then. 

Preposition “by” + noun combination

Right, if you are listening to this podcast in the car or on your phone then remember you can take a look at the video over at the AOBE website.

I am going to start with the preposition and noun combination, and then give you the translation.

Combination Translation
By accidentSin querer
By bus/car/plane/etc.En autobús/coche/avión
By chancePor casualidad
By chequePagar con cheque
By day/nightDe día/noche
By farPor lejos
By handA mano
By heartDe memoria
By land/sea/airPor tierra/mar/aire
By all meansPor supuesto
By means ofPor medio de
By mistakePor error
By yourselfPor ti mismo
By (25)%Por
By phone/post/faxPor teléfono/correos/fax
By return ofContestar inmediatamente
By sightDe vista
(take) by surpriseTomar por supresa
by yourselfSolo
bit by bit/one by one, etc.Poco a poco/uno por uno


“By” + noun combinations in use

OK, so there you have the list of 20 common combination with the preposition “by”. As promised, now I am going to give you some example sentences in context.

Combination Example sentence
By accidentKim bumped into John by accident.
By bus/car/plane/etc.I prefer to travel by train than car whenever possible.
By chanceDo you have any spare change by chance? I need to wash the car.
By chequeCan we pay by bankers’ cheque?
By day/nightJohn Works as a waiter by night and a painter by day.
By farThis is by far the most stressful day I have had in weeks.
By handThese models are made by hand, that is why they are more expensive.
By heartYou will need to learn this material by heart if you want to work effectively.
By land/sea/airSend this parcel to Buenos Aires by air. It will arrive faster.
By all meansCan I come to your party?
By all means, it will be a pleasure having you.
By means ofThe company was saved by means of a new credit line and restructuring of debt.
By mistakeI think I ate your lunch by mistake.
By yourselfDid you complete this work by yourself, or did you get someone to help you?
By (25)%We will be reducing our costs by 15% in the coming quarter.
By phone/post/faxIt is best to contact us directly by mail if you would like fast service.
By return ofPlease reply by return of email within 24 hours.
By sightI don’t think I know John by sight as we have never met in person.
(take) by surpriseThe team was taken by surprise when the bossed walked in when he was meant to be on holiday.
by yourselfWhat are you doing here in the office all by yourself?
bit by bit/one by one, etc.We have grown the company bit by bit, and now we are confident it will grow by leaps and bounds.

 There you have it my friends, as you can see, just as with last week’s episode I have tried to add in some additional vocabulary and expressions for those who are motivated and wish to look up the meaning.

Remember if you are an AOBE member you can get access to the transcript, which is a great study tool.

Final thoughts

Well, that brings us to the end of another episode here today. I hope you are finding this mini-series on preposition and noun combinations very useful. If you need some motivation to study, then I recommend you make an effort to learn 20 of these expressions per week. Then you will be ready for the next week. Learning and internalising them is pretty straight forward, all you need to do is write out 5 at a time, and then create some example sentences. Secondly, you can take a list with you to work and pop them into some emails or presentations that you are preparing.

So, that is it for me today. It’s been a pleasure having you here, don’t forget to head over to the AOBE website and sign up to get your copy of the transcript and your free weekly coaching sessions. Perfect for busy professionals who want access to a professional team of business English trainer.

Until next week, take care, by for now.

Business Idioms

This six module course helps English language learners build their knowledge of business idioms and their understanding of them in different business scenarios.

We cover idioms for marketing, finance, behaviour, operations and production, manegament and planning.

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Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

Andrew Ambrosius

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