He sent the letter.

If I want to ask about the subject, I can say:

Who sent the letter?

If I want to ask about the object:

What did he send?

But how can ask what was the verb (the action)? is the following correct?

What did he do by the letter?

  • "By" in this context would mean "next to", the letter serving only to imply the location of his activity. "By the letter" is also an expression meaning strict compliance with some procedure precisely as written, as in "the letter of the law", so that interpretation would have nothing to do with an item of correspondence. But if the letter, itself, is the object of discussion and you want to know what he did regarding it, you need "with" in this case.
    – fixer1234
    Mar 3, 2017 at 5:28

1 Answer 1


What did he do with the letter? He sent the letter.

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