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by
British English: /bʌɪ/
American English: /baɪ/

Translation of by in French:

preposition

  • 1 (showing agent, result) he was bitten by a snake
    il a été mordu par un serpent
    the house was designed by an architect
    la maison a été conçue par un architecte
    a building destroyed by fire
    un bâtiment détruit par le feu
    we were overwhelmed by the news
    nous avons été bouleversés par la nouvelle
    by working extra hours, he was able to earn more money
    en faisant des heures supplémentaires, il a pu gagner plus d'argent
    by selling some valuables, she was able to raise some money
    en vendant quelques objets de valeur, elle a pu rassembler des fonds
    to begin by saying that …
    commencer par dire que …
    any money paid by you will be reimbursed
    tout ce que vous avez payé vous sera remboursé
  • 2 (through the means of) See examples: to travel by bus/train
    voyager en bus/train
    by bicycle
    à bicyclette, en vélo
    to pay by cheque
    payer par chèque
    you can reach me by phone
    vous pouvez me contacter par téléphone
    by candlelight
    (dine)
    aux chandelles
    (read)
    à la bougie
    I know her by sight
    je la connais de vue
    I took him by the hand
    je l'ai pris par la main
    he grabbed me by the hair
    il m'a attrapé par les cheveux
    she was holding it by the handle
    elle le tenait par le manche
    he has two children by his first wife
    il a deux enfants de sa première femme
  • 3 (according to, from evidence of) by my watch it is three o'clock
    à ma montre, il est trois heures
    I could tell by the look on her face that she was angry
    rien qu'à la regarder je savais qu'elle était fâchée
    what did you understand by her remarks?
    comment est-ce que tu as compris ses remarques?
    I knew him by his walk
    je l'ai reconnu à sa démarche
    it's all right by me
    ça me va
  • 4 (via, passing through) we entered by the back door
    nous sommes entrés par la porte de derrière
    we'll get there quicker if we go by Birmingham
    nous y arriverons plus rapidement si nous passons par Birmingham
    we travelled to Rome by Venice and Florence
    nous sommes allés à Rome en passant par Venise et Florence
  • 5 (near, beside)
    à côté de, près de
    by the bed/the window
    à côté du lit/de la fenêtre
    by the sea come and sit by me
    viens t'asseoir à côté de moi
  • 7 (showing authorship) a film by Claude Chabrol
    un film de Claude Chabrol
    a novel by Virginia Woolf
    un roman de Virginia Woolf
    who is it by?
    c'est de qui?
  • 8 (before, not later than) it must be done by four o'clock/next Thursday
    il faut que ce soit fait avant quatre heures/jeudi prochain
    by this time next week
    d'ici la semaine prochaine
    by the time she had got downstairs he was gone
    le temps qu'elle descende, il était parti
    he ought to be here by now
    il devrait être déjà là
    by now it was clear that they were going to win
    à ce moment-là il était clair qu'ils allaient gagner
    but by then it was too late
    mais il était déjà trop tard
  • 9 (during) See examples: by day as well as by night
    de jour comme de nuit
    by daylight
    au jour
    by moonlight
    au clair de lune
  • 10 (according to) See examples: forbidden by law
    interdit par la loi
    to play by the rules
    jouer selon les règles
    it seems primitive by western standards
    cela a l'air primitif selon or d'après les critères occidentaux
  • 11 (to the extent or degree of) prices have risen by 20%
    les prix ont augmenté de 20%
    he's taller than me by two centimetres
    il fait deux centimètres de plus que moi, il est plus grand que moi de deux centimètres
    by far
    de loin
    she is by far the cleverest/the youngest
    elle est de loin la plus intelligente/la plus jeune
    it's better by far
    c'est beaucoup mieux
  • 12 (in measurements) a room 20 metres by 10 metres
    une pièce de 20 mètres sur 10
  • 13 (Mathematics) (in multiplication, division) 10 multiplied by 5 is 50
    10 multiplié par 5 égale 50
  • 15 (in successive degrees, units) See examples: little by little
    peu à peu
    day by day one by one
    un par un, un à un
  • 16 (with regard to) he is an architect by profession ou trade
    il est architecte de son métier
    by birth
    de naissance
  • 17 (as a result of) by accident/mistake
    par accident/erreur
    by chance
  • 18 (used with reflexive pronouns) See examples: he did it all by himself
    il l'a fait tout seul
    she was sitting by herself
    elle était assise toute seule
  • 20 (Nautical) (in compass directions) south by south-west
    sud quart sud-ouest

adverb

  • 1 (past) See examples: to go by the people walking by
    les gens
    mpl, mpl
    he walked on by without stopping
    il est passé sans s'arrêter
    a lot of time has gone by since then
    il s'est écoulé beaucoup de temps depuis lors
    as time goes by
    avec le temps
  • 2 (near) he lives close by
    il habite tout près
  • 3 (aside, in reserve) See examples: to put money by
    mettre de l'argent de côté
  • 4 (to one's house) See examples: come by for a drink
    passe prendre un verre
    she called by during the week
    elle est passée dans la semaine

Idioms

by and by

by the by by the bye

but that's by the by

mais ça c'est un détail, mais ça c'est autre chose

Definition of by in:

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    Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
    noun
    a stupid person