I want to use "by no means" in a sentence. I am not sure whether I should use it before or after the word "can". Here are examples:

Is it:

Our method can by no means be considered as an attack


Our method by no means can be considered as an attack


Both of the options you gave are valid ways to state it, but the first one is a more natural way to say it in English. In either case, I'd drop the 'as', which is not necessary.

So the way I'd say that line is, "Our method can by no means be considered an attack."

| improve this answer | |

"By no means" is an idiom. In that regard, its use is flexible and often regionally defined. To my ear, the sentence sounds better when organized like this:

By no means can our method be considered an attack.

However, if asked to choose between the two sentences you provided, I would prefer the first.

Our method can by no means be considered as an attack.

But it feels awkward. Part of it is the use of "as," which is grammatically legitimate but verbose in this situation. The rest of it is that "by no means" is inserted into the middle of the idea being presented, breaking the "train of thought." This is why my initial example is my preference. By pushing "by no means" to the front of the sentence, the emphasis it causes is established without interrupting the more important issue of the method not being an attack.

| improve this answer | |

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.