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Hi,

I was always confused by the use of "by", and here is the sentence:

One way some Americans avoided steep losses in the stock market in recent years was by making unusual alternative investments in small farms and food businesses.

Is "by" here necessary in the sentence? Can I say this like "One way some Americans avoided ... ... was making unusual alternative investments in small farms and food businesses."

Looking forward your kind reply.Emotion: smile
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kimconanIs "by" here necessary in the sentence?
You would be understood if you left out by, but without it, the way(which is inanimate) was making investments! You had better leave it there. Emotion: smile

CJ
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Yes, it's a good explanation. And by the way, is it a general use like "the way is by doing sth"? For example, can I say "The way I could get high score in the exam was by working hard."?
kimconanYes, it's a good explanation. And by the way, is it a general use like "the way is by doing sth"? For example, can I say "The way I could get high score in the exam was by working hard."?
Why not just say "I got high score in the exam by working hard"?
kimconan by the way, is it a general use
Yes. It's a standard pattern.

One way you could solve that problem is by painting the ceiling.

Of course, as mentioned above, you don't often really need this structure, because there are other ways of saying the same thing.

You could solve that problem by painting the ceiling.
Paint the ceiling and your problem is solved.
To solve that problem, paint the ceiling.

CJ
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CalifJim
kimconan by the way, is it a general use
Yes. It's a standard pattern.One way you could solve that problem is by painting the ceiling.Of course, as mentioned above, you don't often really need this structure, because there are other ways of saying the same thing.You could solve that problem by painting the ceiling.Paint the ceiling and your problem is solved.To solve that problem, paint the ceiling.CJ
Now it's very clear to me. Thanks for your help.Emotion: big smile