Is there any difference between "by car" and "in a car"? For example:

I usually come to work by car/in a car.

  • 1
    By car is idiomatic; in a car is not. – Ronald Sole Oct 26 '19 at 10:06

The first describes the conveyance, that is, the primary means by which you come. The second describes something that happens coincidentally. For example, if you were sitting in a car being carried by a flatbed truck, you would be going to work by truck, in a car.

Following this construction one could go to work by car in ones pajamas, or in a Scottish kilt decorated with rutabagas, or in a state of joyful mirth.

The difference is fairly nuanced. I would say that in practice both versions are perfectly understandable.

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