I am afraid this question might sound like 7th grades' question.

For, example, when I would like to say,

Let's learn English utilizing movie songs

which preposition should I use if I would like to place a preposition in replace of the utilizing part, namely, with or by?

( I am writing for my personal business purpose but I sincerely would not like to make this kind of mistake which personally comes out of my pride... ( Although I have to ask... ))

Thank you for your kind assistance.


  • Any particular reason why you want to use with or by? using would be much better.
    – user3169
    Mar 6, 2017 at 2:16
  • Ugh....only because it is short...( I think )...
    – user17814
    Mar 6, 2017 at 11:31
  • But some prepositions have so many uses (and misuses), it might be better to use one that is more specific in meaning.
    – user3169
    Mar 6, 2017 at 21:09

1 Answer 1


The two patterns you are asking about are

Let's learn English with movie songs.

the pattern is

with + noun

where noun is the instrument used for the action.

Let's learn English with native speakers.
Let's learn English with Youtube videos.
Let's write with a pencil.

Otherwise, one might say

by + verbing + noun

Let's learn English by singing movie songs.

Let's learn English by talking with native speakers.
Let's learn English by watching Youtube videos.
Let's write by using a pencil.

  • Thank you for your swift answer. So in summary, by is more prone to be used when we or I are emphasizing the action??
    – user17814
    Mar 6, 2017 at 1:00
  • The action of how you are learning (by way of).
    – Peter
    Mar 6, 2017 at 1:02
  • Such said, you are kindly trying to tell me that, may be, particularly in this case, the movie is more like the instrument rather than your by way of ? ( Hence, I need to insert listening to or some kind of such verb-noun if I would like to use by here. ) I apologize for sticking so much (m_m).
    – user17814
    Mar 6, 2017 at 1:08
  • 1
    Yes, an ambiguity appears without the verbing which is "Let's learn English by Youtube videos." may be understood to mean "the Youtube videos' form of English", "English by Youtube" = "Youtube English". "by listening to Youtube videos" is unambiguous.
    – Peter
    Mar 6, 2017 at 1:16
  • Thank you, Peter. With millions of appreciations. (m_m).
    – user17814
    Mar 6, 2017 at 1:18

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