Idioms Exercise (309)
Choose the preposition that fits the idioms in the following sentences.
Answers and Explanations
1. The child broke the vase by accident.
Here, by introduces a phrase of agency. "By accident" tells "how."
2. Even though computers dominate the workplace, people need to know how to write legibly by hand.
Again, by introduces a phrase of agency.
3. I like to spend most of my time by myself.
When by is followed by a reflexive pronoun, the sense is "alone" or "without help."
4. She does all her baking from scratch.
In this idiom, from indicates a starting place; the word scratch in this context means "nothing."
5. Children enjoy learning poems by heart.
"By heart" is a phrase of agency. Here, the word "heart" means "memory."