By

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Agent

In the passive voice "by" introduces the noun doing the "agentive" action in the sentence. The grammatical subject is the "theme" or the patient.

agent = actor, patient = what is acted upon, theme = topic

  • This book was written by Charlotte Brontë.
  • The results of the older study have been replicated by several more recent ones.
  • Did you have to help your son with his homework or did he do it by himself?
  • Little has been written by mainstream sources about the question.

Deadline

  • Income taxes must be filed in the US by April 15th
  • We need get this fixed by the end of the day.
  • The mail usually gets here by noon.

along / via / near / next to

  • I live by the river.
  • I live by the school.
  • We were sitting by the exit, so we could get back out quickly.

"means" argument, answers the question how?

(complement circonstantiel de moyen / instrument, etc.)

  • By rearranging the seats, the bride kept the feuding uncles as far apart as she could.
  • We reached them by phone.