From The Killing (TV_series) :

Can I help you, sir?
Yeah, you can help me. My name's Stan Larsen. Detective Holder promised to send a car by to watch my house

I understand that completely, but my question is why "car by" ? Why do we use by in here ? Why don't we just say car?

other section :

You said you'd send a car by. My kids are terrified. What-- what the hell are you people doing about it?

  • 1
    A car will drive by the house. The car was sent by the detective. Thus: the detective sent a car by the house. – GEdgar Jul 16 '17 at 11:39
  • 5
    "By" in this sense means "near" or "passing adjacent to". Probably the simplest way to parse it is that the object of "by" is elided: '... promised to send a car by my location to watch my house." – Hot Licks Jul 16 '17 at 12:10
  • 1
    If I send a car, the comes to give you a ride somewhere. If I send a car by, you don't get in. The car is there for other purposes. – Yosef Baskin Jul 16 '17 at 13:16
  • 1
    @Yosef: No. There's nothing wrong with, for example, (We'll) send a car by to pick (you up) It's a mistake to interpret by there as meaning passing near, but not actually stopping (or more exotic variants such as the implication in the area for some other reason). – FumbleFingers Jul 16 '17 at 13:49
  • 1
    @Hot Licks: Idiomatically, there are many "prepositions of movement/location" that could replace by in OP's cited context. Most native speakers would be perfectly happy with [a]round, over, across, along, up, down, back, etc. in either that exact context or similar ones. I suppose back would of necessity have to imply something along the lines of returning, but as with He lives up/down the road, I'm not sure you can always say up/down there really have much "meaning" (they certainly don't necessarily allude to any literal change in "elevation"). – FumbleFingers Jul 16 '17 at 15:06

The word by can also be used as an adverb to mean "at or to someone's home".

So it means ."Detective Holder promised to send a car at/to my house to watch it".

  • Correct. Based on context, the car is not "passing by" but instead "stationed at", since one cannot "pass by" and "keep watch". – EllieK May 16 '18 at 13:59

The word 'by' in this context suggests that the car is going to drive past (or by) the house rather than stopping at it.


Detective Holder promised to send a car by to watch my house

can be read as

Detective Holder promised to send a car that will pass by my house and keep watch.

  • How can something that passes by, keep watch? It would reason that after you pass by, you are no longer keeping watch. – EllieK May 16 '18 at 13:57
  • 1
    OP's post most probably means "send the car to my house". But police can also provide security by just patrolling in general area around the house, letting everyone know that police is nearby. It all comes down to the context and how much security is needed. – Paresh May 17 '18 at 5:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.