Alex
Preposition in the sentence "What do you mean (...by/with) something"?

Hi people. I wonder which preposition is correct in sentences like this?

Thanks for hints.

Jan 3, 2016 12:53 PM
Comments · 6

"by" is more natural in most cases.

January 3, 2016
Thanks Michael!
January 3, 2016

Yes, I've got it. ) "By" is correct

Thanks for helping

January 3, 2016

Alex... I understand why you asked for the meaning of 'by' that is not a 'how' statement.

"through the means of" means 'in what manner' or 'what method' OR 'through telling me something'.

 

So I will re-write your original sentence ...

What do you mean by that? ('that' = the thing the person said)

What do you mean by the thing you said?

What do you mean by what you told me?

What do you mean by telling me what you told me?

 

Is that clearer?

January 3, 2016

Thanks for the answer Richard!

I'm afraid I've not got something. By the sentence "What do you mean by something ("plane" for example)" I wanted to express that I want to know, what someone said about, what did he mean, what is "plain" in his mind. Not HOW he did something.

January 3, 2016
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