I have a sentence:

"I will be dead by soon"

And there is my question. Can I use some action adding an adverb with "by" like that. I know that "I will be dead by noon" will do, but what about this one?

And I'm sorry if there are any grammar mistakes in question.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jan 26 at 20:05

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.


The preposition by has a specific meaning with time expressions:

by prep
6. Not later than: by 5:30 pm.
TFD Online

If you use it, then the time expression used has to be specific, not vague or indeterminate like soon.

I will be there by ten o'clock.
I will be there by the time you are ready to leave.
I will be there by Friday.

Just ask yourself if the time expression being used works with the preposition:

I will be there not later than soon. (?)

This is grammatically possible, of course, and could be used in a flippant remark, but for most usages it would just sound odd or foreign.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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