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Hi

Do you find this sentence natural? If yes, then please shed some light on the use of "by".

They sleep by day and hunt by night.

Thanks,

Tom

PS: Why not: They sleep during the day and hunt at night.
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Mr. TomDo you find this sentence natural?
Yes.
Mr. Tomplease shed some light on the use of "by"
by day and by night are common phrases that mean during the day and during the night.
Mr. TomWhy not: They sleep during the day and hunt at night.
Why not They sleep when it's light out and hunt when it's dark out? There is always more than one way to say things. Emotion: smile

CJ
Comments  
Yes, " They sleep by day and hunt by night" is perfectly natural. It means the same as " They sleep during the day and hunt at night."

I'm not really sure why you can use " by" in this case, but it gives me more of an idea that this is the nature of whoever "they" might be. Example: Owls sleep by day and hunt by night.

If you say, "They sleep during the day and hunt at night," it is not necessarily part of their nature to do that. It could be, but it also could be something they are doing now for a time. Example: Because the daytime desert temperatures reached over 125 degrees Fahrenheit, they slept during the day and hunted at night.

Chalk
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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
My sincere thanks to both of you!

So, is it a fixed phrase "by day and by night" or can I break it?

These days I am working by night.

[is it OK?

Tom
Yes. By day, by night, by dawn's early light, and by the light of the moon are all separate phrases.
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