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should use "using" or "by using" Options
whale84
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 3:09:36 AM
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Location: Viet Nam
Hi all,

I'm confused the following sentence:

Users can open and save the file using the Operation screen.

This sentence above is correct or not. Should I replace the word "using" to "by using"?
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 3:35:14 AM

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Using.

I'd say, though: "Users can open and save files in Operation screen."


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
whale84
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:21:25 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 5/23/2012
Posts: 5
Neurons: 15
Location: Viet Nam
Let me give another example: "This is the default colour scheme, but you can customise those colours using the settings dialog."

Please help me find out I should use "using" or "by using" in this sentence.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:29:44 AM

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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Using and by using are in most cases the same, but can have a slight semantic difference in some cases.

Using: when you are in settings dialog you can change...
By using: use settings dialog in order to change...

Both of your examples are grammatically correct and understandable.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:40:46 AM

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I am not sure (at all) whether my grammar explanation makes sense, but here it is:

you do not always need 'by using'

eg
when it is a verb but in a seperate subclause, using the participle
I open the door using the handle
or in the same way
Users can customise the colours using the settings dialog

you only need 'by using when it is a method, the cause, an adverbial explanation of the verb, the subclause 'by+ verb)

I got rich by using my head
You can customise the colours by using the settings dialog.

so, your sentence can fit both ways. But the simpler way, without the 'by' sounds easier.

compare
I got rich playing football
= I played football, and it made me rich

I got rich by playing football.
=I got rich. The way I got rich was by choosing to play football

there is a subtle distinction, but in your case it is not important, so both would be OK. But, as I said, if in doubt go for the simpler and shorter, and it sounds better, at least to me!
rogermue
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 5:26:49 AM

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In my view the problem is a shortening.

Instead of 'by using something' you can use 'using something', omitting 'by', if the meaning of the sentence remains clear.
If one is unsure I would always use 'by using sth', there is no need to shorten.

If you go into grammar and semantics as thar does things get complicated. (Sorry, thar, to have a different view.Anxious )
PS And I wouldn't see any semantic difference if someone omits 'by'. If there are any differences then they simply are stilistic, the sentence can get a slightly different rhythm because it is shorter. But to dive into semantic differences here - I would see that as overexplanation of language.
whale84
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 6:19:14 AM
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Joined: 5/23/2012
Posts: 5
Neurons: 15
Location: Viet Nam
Thank all, I also agree with rogermue and I refer "by using" to "using".
Thanks for your help again.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 6:22:15 AM

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no problem rog. I am actually quite inclined to agree with you on this one, that missing words may be inferred. I just tried to give a (rather unclear, or probably totally garbled!) grammar point because I do feel there is some difference in emphasis between adding and leaving out the 'by'. But as I continually find, when there are two valid ways of saying something, they naturally tend to diverge and create there own little niches of meaning. They are very rarely exact synonyms in all situations.

BUt here, I think you may be right. Shortened, meaning inferred, so now the longer version looks just slightly less natural.
rogermue
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:05:18 AM

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In one way you are right too, thar. And I always like to read your explanations.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:16:59 AM
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I think for most people--unless one is a language expert--using "by" in the sentence makes it more clear.
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