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By him saying that he was sick, I knew he was not going to show up.

I hear this construction all the time. In response to other questions I have posted, most agreed that him should be replaced with his in cases like this.

The question I have now is whether by is the best preposition to use here. By would ordinarily suggest a means to an end rather than the consequence of a random cause.

Shouldn't I say:

From his saying that he was sick...
Because of his saying that he was sick...

Etc,?
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electrumBy him saying that he was sick, I knew he was not going to show up.

I hear this construction all the time.
My condolences. Emotion: crying
electrumShouldn't I say:

From his saying that he was sick...
Because of his saying that he was sick...
I would say (at the end of the sentence):

... because he said he was sick.

Fancy phrasing is fine for literature, but in casual conversation you get no extra points by showing off your grammatical acrobatics!

Emotion: smile
CJ
Comments  
CalifJimFancy phrasing is fine for literature, but in casual conversation you get no extra points by showing off your grammatical acrobatics!
The question was not whether I would earn points by getting fancy in casual converation. Where did you get that idea? I'm trying to isolate fine points in construction in conjunction with an artifical language I have been inventing for a number of years.