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"By using", redundant words? - (Jan/18/2012 )


I feel a little bit wrong when read or write "by using"!
"By" and "using" both point to the same meaning, so why some people use both words in the same clause?
Why not using only "by..." or "using" alone.... ?



When you say "using ...", there is no need to add a "by" in front of it. This kind of redundance is very common in literature.


You might find that the "by using" is used a bit more frequently where there is an extended clause describing more than one step. For example (made up on the spot, not a real scenario, so ignore the science) "...we performed the reaction by using 50 mm acetic acid as a wash and precipitating the resulting crystals..." where the by is referring to the action and the using is referring to the solution.


Thank you for your answers.
@bob, what about: "..we performed the reaction using 50 mm acetic acid as ..." , does the meaning changes (without by)?


The meaning doesn't change, but colloquialisms rarely make sense.