blog home

Commonly Confused Words: By vs. Bye vs. Buy


What does each word mean?

By is a preposition that is used to identify who or what performed an action, the means by which something was achieved, the amount or size of a margin, a deadline or the end of a particular time period, the period in which something happens, or the location in relation to what is beside it. As an adverb it means ‘to go past a certain point’.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is by used in some example sentences:

  • The damage was caused by a tornado.
  • The house was cleaned by my brother.
  • He got full marks on his spelling test by practising every day.
  • Coursework must be submitted by the end of the month.
  • Owls hunt by night.
  • There’s a new café by the market.
  • We drove by the house.

Click here to find the Spellzone vocabulary lists related to the word by.

Bye is a farewell remark which is short for ‘goodbye’.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is bye used in an example sentence:

  • ‘Goodbye,’ she called.

Click here to find the Spellzone vocabulary lists related to the word bye.

Buy is a verb meaning ‘to purchase’ or ‘to accept as true’.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is buy used in some example sentences:

  • The couple considered whether or not they could afford to buy a new car.
  • Money can’t buy happiness.
  • She didn’t buy the excuse her friend gave for his lateness.

Click here to find the Spellzone vocabulary lists related to the word buy.

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference between by, bye and buy?

Come up with a sentence or phase which uses each letter of the word to help you remember how to spell it. For example:

  • My mother has my baby photos filed by year.
  • Bye,’ yelled the elephant.
  • buy umbrellas yearly

Where can I find other posts about easy-to-confuse words?

Sources: The Online Etymology Dictionary.


21 May 2018
blog home

Print this page

Sign up to remove this advert

Remove this advert

"Spellzone fits in beautifully with our Scope and Sequence of Phonological Awareness and Spelling. It also aligns perfectly with the four areas of spelling knowledge and uses the Brain, Ears, Eyes approach to learning spelling."
Thank you!
Teacher, Australia

We have updated our cookie policy. We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on Spellzone. Find out more.