Common mistake buy (by) + gerund verb

Common Mistake: Using "buy" instead of "by" with gerund verbs

One common mistake that many English language learners make is using the word "buy" instead of "by" when followed by a gerund verb. This is a subtle but important difference that can affect the meaning of a sentence.

The Correct Usage: "By" + Gerund Verb

When expressing the means or method by which something is done, we use the preposition "by" followed by a gerund verb. This construction indicates the way in which an action is performed. For example:

  • By listening to English podcasts regularly, you can improve your listening skills.
  • He managed to solve the problem by working diligently.

The Incorrect Usage: "Buy" + Gerund Verb

On the other hand, the word "buy" refers to the act of purchasing something. It does not convey the same meaning as "by" when used with gerund verbs. Here are some examples of incorrect usage:

  • I improved my English buy practicing speaking every day.
  • You can achieve success buy working hard and staying dedicated.

As you can see, using "buy" instead of "by" in these sentences changes the meaning and sounds unnatural.

Investing in a grammar checker like Linguix can help you identify and correct such mistakes, ensuring your writing is error-free and clear.

buy (by) + gerund verb mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    We exploit these two features buy using Named Entity recognition.

    We exploit these two features by using Named Entity recognition.

  • Incorrect:
    Buy making it our top pick in the sector.

    By making it our top pick in the sector.

  • Incorrect:
    Get some buy doing treasure maps.

    Get some by doing treasure maps.

  • Incorrect:
    Several years can go buy waiting for recovery.

    Several years can go by waiting for recovery.

  • Correct:
    I'm here to buy wedding gifts.
  • Correct:
    You can't buy advertising like that.
  • Correct:
    I usually buy clothing at a local store.
  • Correct:
    On May 30, Salomon Smith Barney reiterated its Buy rating on Sprint PCS shares.
  • Correct:
    For ENE, our Strong Buy rating expects that the deal spread, currently about 30% will narrow as progress is made toward a closing.
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