By vs. From

Difference Between By and From

‘By’ and ‘Form’ are the two prepositions in English which has many similarities as well as dissimilarities. As far as their meaning are concerned, both are differently used by an English speaker.

They both are prepositions. ‘by’ denotes the agent of an action or an instrumental case. ‘From’ denotes the ablative case.

To understand the use of ‘by’, look at the following sentences:

It is done by me.

Whole of the stock has been purchased by the company.

The word ‘by’ in the first sentence conveys the idea that ‘me’ is the person who did something. Thus ‘me’ is an agent and this fact indicated by the preposition ‘by’. In the second sentence, the agent is company which has purchased the stock. Thus preposition ‘by’ indicates about the agent of an action.

The preposition ‘from’ indicates the starting point of an action. In other words it tells from where a movement or an action starts. Look at the sentence below in order to understand it clearly.

He has come from the office.

He took out some money from his purse.

In the first sentence the action of ‘coming’ is performed ant it starts from the office. In the second sentence the action of ‘taking out’ starts from the purse. Thus difference between ‘from’ and ‘by’ is clear. One indicates an agent while other indicates the point of start of an action.

Both the prepositions can be used in interrogative sentences also. Look at the examples.

By whom were you stopped?

Where does she come from?

It should be noted that prepositions can be put at the beginning or at the end of the sentence. But the functions are similar.


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