Are both sentences correct? Can it be said either way?
”Then there are the people who start their day watching cable TV news.” ”Then there are people who start their day by watching cable tv news.”
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Both are correct and are seen and heard in common English usage. There are slight differences in meaning. "Start their day watching cable TV news" implies that watching TV news is part of these people's morning routine--there could be other activities that are part of their morning. "Start their day by watching cable TV news"--by in this case is a preposition, therefore it shows relationships between things in the sentence. It implies some cause-effect relationship, meaning that watching cable TV news has a more direct role in 'causing' the beginning of their day. That doesn't mean that watching news makes the sun rise, but rather that watching the news is a key part of kick-starting their day.