“By” is an adverb and a preposition. It is also used to form part of phrasal verbs. Here our attention is on the adverb and preposition.
First, as a preposition. Here are some examples:
- The play was written by Shakespeare (de Shakespeare).
- I came by plane (En avión).
- The light switch is right by the door (…está justo al lado de la puerta).
- Mr.Zapatero was sitting by the window (al lado de la ventana).
- The vase was made by hand (…hecho a mano).
- Mr.Corbyn has lost public support by being too extreme (…ha perdido apoyo popular por ser demasiado extremista).
- The teachers are paid by the hour (por hora).
- I need to be by myself (necesito estar solo).
Now as an adverb.
- Let me pass by (déjenme pasar).
- Sanchez walked by me without even saying hello (Señor Sanchez pasó por mi lado sin saludarme).
- The children watched the parade march by (los niños vieron pasar el desfile).
There are also some expressions using “by”. Examine these:
- “By and large” = por lo general
- He mentioned it “by the by” = lo mencionó de pasada.