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Bye vs. By — Which is Correct? (Grammar + Examples)

Often Bye and By are misspelled or misused as people get confused with these homophones. These two words are homophones since they’re pronounced the same way. However, they differ in both meaning and spelling.

In fact, they aren’t as likely to be that confused as a few other homophones, such as “their,” “there,” and “they’re.” But it is common. We have prepared a complete guide on the English language to make things clear for you.

The difference between bye and by is that ‘bye’ is typically a shortened form of the saying ‘goodbye’. Thus, it’s used to demonstrate farewell or leave someone’s presence. While ‘by’ is generally used as a preposition. It shows who performed a particular action. Moreover, by is also used as an adverb and indicates a past action.

Now let’s dig in deeper to know more about bye vs by…

Bye vs by
Bye vs by

Bye vs. by: When to Use the Word “Bye”

If someone writes or says bye, they’re typically referring to a shortened version of goodbye. So, bye mainly means the shortened form of goodbye.

Examples In Sentences To Use Bye

  • Bye-Bye, Mike. We will soon get together again.
  • It isn’t uncommon for somebody to say Good-bye. So, please understand this reality sooner.
  • Bye! I will come back for dinner.

However, in sports, the word bye refers to a team or player’s preferential status that is directly moved to the next round without playing with an opponent in the first round.

For Example

  • “In lawn tennis, the team was given a first-round bye.”
  • Our players will now get a rest as we’ve got a bye
Bye vs by
Bye vs by

When to Use the Word “By”

The word by has a lot of uses as a preposition. Here are a few examples of by as a preposition

Examples of Sentences to Use By

  • To express an opinion- That’s fine by me.
  • Into the environs and beyond- He walked there right by me.
  • To express proximity- I’m by the office.
  • Through the instrumentality or agency of- The photo was captured by him
  • To mean the time- You should be here by 7 PM tonight.


The word By can even work as an adverb. When you need to show movement “past” something, you can use the word by, For example, “They drove by”.

Bye vs by
Bye vs by

Key Differences Between Bye And By

By denotes the performance of any action, while bye means to say goodbye to a person.

Bye’ is the abbreviated form of the word ‘goodbye’ while ‘By’ is the result of Old English words such as ‘be,’ ‘bi,’ and other similar expressions.

The key difference between ‘bye’ and ‘by’ is that the term ‘by’ is treated as a preposition and adverb as per the requirement of the situation, while ‘bye’ is generally used as a noun and an interjection.

By’ connotes numerous meanings if used in various situations, while the word ‘bye’ doesn’t have much meaning as by

As a preposition, ‘by’ indicates nearness or proximity to someone or something, while the word ‘Bye’ means separating, leaving, or parting from the presence of a thing or person.

In summary

To ensure you use only the correct term or spelling, keep in mind the following:

By can be an adverb or a preposition, but never a noun or verb. Common uses usually include saying how something was done or who did something.

Bye is generally short for the word “goodbye.” However, it’s also a noun. As a noun, it means “a certain time when a player or team doesn’t have to play” in sports.

In other words, for a casual farewell, you can say “bye.” And in other cases, you can use the word ‘by.’


What is the difference between by and bye?

Bye is the word you use to say goodbye to someone. For example, Bye-bye! I will return for dinner.

By is generally used as an adverb or a preposition, but never a verb or noun, meaning by is either an adverb or a preposition. For example,

  • Preposition- You should be here by 7 PM tonight.
  • Adverb-They drove by.
Is it stop bye or stop by?

The correct saying is “Stop By.” Stop by means to go somewhere or visit someone unannounced for only a few minutes or so.

Examples of ‘stop by’ are

  • I want to stop by the hospital before leaving.
  • We will stop by to pick him up.

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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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