Just as the title says. I really have no idea how to translate the word "by" in this sense. It's just a form of grammar I've never even been exposed to, so I wouldn't know where to start. Anyone know how?

  • May we have the whole sentence?
    – Henry HO
    Oct 7, 2014 at 7:50
  • There was no whole sentence, this was a generic phrase I was trying to use to demonstrate the English use of "by" in this case. George Chen left a well-stated answer.
    – Jonson
    Oct 7, 2014 at 21:55
  • Then, it would be easy to trap ourselves in clumsy or even ill-formed Chinese using word-wise translation.
    – Henry HO
    Oct 8, 2014 at 3:36
  • I disagree with you there. I would argue that "by" in this sense is akin to a grammar pattern, not a "word-wise translation." This is in the sense that using "by" in this sense is similar in both languages in that there is a common one-word phrase which can encompass the use of such.
    – Jonson
    Oct 9, 2014 at 18:51

2 Answers 2



By pretending the dinner is real, Peter and his friends forgot about hunger. 通过假装晚餐是真的的方式, 潘和他的朋友们忘掉了饥饿。

Or you can take a little liberty:

通过假装用晚餐的方式, 潘和他的朋友们忘掉了饥饿。

  • Perhaps 透过 instead of 通过? Oct 6, 2014 at 0:00
  • @AndrewKozak - That's fine. I heard people from Taiwan speak like that. Oct 6, 2014 at 0:06
  • Or ... "彼得和朋友們以假晚飯忘卻饑餓."
    – Henry HO
    Oct 7, 2014 at 9:26

I think I've found similar grammar that I do know how to use: 通过。 So I've just replaced all instances of this sort of "by" with "through." Seems to have identical meaning in English, so I'm fine with this.

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