In a scenario, we have 15 people in the team. We are requested to split into 3 groups(each has 5) to make the reporting.

By looking up a dictionary, the word "by" can mean:

used to show what unit of measurement or quantity is involved in selling, paying for, producing etc. something

For example, we are paid by the hour.

Similarly, can we use "by the group" to describe the idea above? Like:

We are requested to make the reporting by the group.

It doesn't seem right because "the group" sounds more like the specific group rather as a unit.

What would be the correct way(or the correct usage of by) to express it here, if it's not correct?

1 Answer 1


The basic idea of using "by" is correct in your sample sentence. To report by group means that each group should do its own reporting separately from one another.

The sentence, however, has other grammatical issues. A person or people (we) cannot be requested directly in the sense you use it. You can request someone, but it's awkward to request someone to do something. Also, it is probably better to say to report instead of make the reporting, because "make" is not normally used with "reporting." So the final sentence could look like this:

It is requested that we report by group.


The teacher requested that we report by group.

  • I wonder why "by the hour", "by group" (not by the group)? Also, someone suggested me "report in small groups". Is that correct too?
    – dan
    Sep 11, 2017 at 1:44
  • Also, I saw a sentence in a dict: "All club members are requested to attend the annual meeting."
    – dan
    Sep 11, 2017 at 1:52
  • I searched on the web regarding "do a report" vs "make a report". Someone gives answer:"I have just given a simple answer to one of my ESL learners, and that is that generally speaking "Making a report" would have a verbal/ face to face connotation and "Doing a report" would have a written connotation. " . What's your opinion for this? Seems many questions here. :)
    – dan
    Sep 11, 2017 at 2:02
  • I think by the hour because you use the article "the" with periods of time. Anyway, there are web pages that describe all the cases of when to use the definite article "the." Report in small groups is fine.
    – Ringo
    Sep 11, 2017 at 2:09
  • Yes, "make a report" may have that connotation -- similar to "give a report" in class. It is, however, just a connotation. You can spend two weeks "making a report" on your computer.
    – Ringo
    Sep 11, 2017 at 2:11

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