Prepositions are integral components of the English language, aiding in communication by describing the relationship between nouns and other words in a sentence. One subset of prepositions is the instrument preposition, which describes the manner in which an action is performed using an instrument.
Examples of instrument prepositions include “by,” “with,” and “using.”
Love and Salt
The cake was baked by Sarah.
The book was written with a pen.
The vase was painted using a brush.
The scientist conducted the experiment with precision using specialized instruments.
The artist created a stunning masterpiece by painting with an array of brushes.
The musician played the complex melody on the piano with ease.
Determine the instrument used to carry out the action.
Choose the correct preposition that accurately describes the manner in which the action was performed.
Be consistent in your usage throughout a piece of writing or speech.
I caught the ball with my bare hands!
She sang the song beautifully, using her guitar as accompaniment.
Using the wrong preposition to describe the instrument used, such as saying “slicing a tomato by a knife” instead of “slicing a tomato with a knife.”
Omitting the preposition entirely, such as saying “I wrote the letter pen” instead of “I wrote the letter with a pen.”
Correct: “I wrote the letter with a pen.”
Explanation: “Pen” is an instrument preposition because it indicates the tool used to write the letter. This sentence is correct because it uses “with” to specify the instrument used.
Incorrect: “I opened the door with my feet.”
Explanation: While this sentence does use an instrument preposition, “with,” it is incorrect because it uses the wrong instrument to open the door. “Feet” are not typically used to open doors, so this sentence creates confusion and makes the meaning unclear. A better way to phrase this sentence would be “I opened the door with a key.” or “I opened the door with my hands.” depending on the actual instrument used.
The astronaut fixed the spaceship using duct tape.
The student aced the test with a lucky pencil.
The chef cooked the meal with love and a pinch of salt.
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