Grammar Patterns

by N

Other productive uses

1 A prepositional phrase beginning with by is used to refer to the person or thing that does or produces something, as in Unhappiness is caused by selfishness or books by women. The noun group may begin with a determiner, as in decisions made by their predecessors.
2 A prepositional phrase beginning with by is used to refer to the date, time, or age before which something is done, as in he had had 12 children by the age of 44. The noun group begins with the determiner the.
3 A prepositional phrase beginning with by is used to refer to the quantity which counts as a unit for buying and selling, as in At Billingsgate, lobsters are sold by the pound, crabs by the stone, oysters by the 100, Dublin Bay prawns by the gallon, scallops by the dozen, winkles by the hundredweight, mussels by the 25 kg and prawns by the box. The noun group begins with the determiner the.
4 Many nouns not listed above but which have meanings similar to those mentioned are sometimes found in the pattern by N. For example, most nouns referring to a form of transport can by used with this pattern, as in by raft.

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