a stone grinder

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mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
I say:
They used to grind rice by (a) stone grinder to make rice flour.
my question:
1. Can I use "by (a) stone grinder" or "with a stone grinder"?
2. Either "by (a) stone grinder" or "with a stone grinder" is wrong?
Thanks.
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I say:
    They used to grind rice by (a) stone grinder to make rice flour.
    my question:
    1. Can I use "by (a) stone grinder" or "with a stone grinder"?
    2. Either "by (a) stone grinder" or "with a stone grinder" is wrong?
    Thanks.
    I would say "with" Mimi. It would be the same as saying:

    "They used to fight wars with swords" (not "by"). I'd say:

    "They used to grind rice with a stone grinder to make rice flour."
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Dimcl.
    Can you tell me a little when I use "by", when I use "with"? Is it difficult?
    Thanks.
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    Hi Mimi,

    You can definitely use "with a stone grinder." "By a stone grinder" isn't appropriate here. "By means of a stone grinder" would be possible, but wordy. Another possibility would be: "They used to grind rice by using a stone grinder..."

    According to hyperdictionary.com (see the entry for "by"),
    "With is used instead of by before the instrument with
    which anything is done; as, to beat one with a stick;
    the board was fastened by the carpenter with nails..."

    However, they go on to explain that this is not a hard and fast rule and that there are exceptions "and whether with or by shall be used with them is a matter of arbitrary, and often, of unsettled usage."

    I don't think this is an exception: "with" definitely sounds better to me.

    Joelline

    One other point: in one of your sentences, the word order needs to be changed:
    "Either "by (a) stone grinder" or "with a stone grinder" is wrong?"

    This sentence should read as follows: Is either "by (a) stone grinder" or "with a stone grinder" wrong?
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Dimcl.
    Can you tell me a little when I use "by", when I use "with"? Is it difficult?
    Thanks.
    As you know, Mimi, I'm no grammarian :)) ) but I think of "by", in this context, as a sort of "procedural" word. To me, "by" is like the word "via" - it's a word which connects two different actions.

    "I reached the book on the top shelf by standing on a box";

    "I typed this message by hitting keys on my keyboard";

    "I unlocked the door by putting the key in the lock".

    "They used to grind rice by using a stone grinder to make rice flour."

    Sorry if I'm not making myself clear, Mimi...:(
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    As you know, Mimi, I'm no grammarian :)) ) but I think of "by", in this context, as a sort of "procedural" word. To me, "by" is like the word "via" - it's a word which connects two different actions.

    "I reached the book on the top shelf by standing on a box";

    "I typed this message by hitting keys on my keyboard";

    "I unlocked the door by putting the key in the lock".

    "They used to grind rice by using a stone grinder to make rice flour."
    Dear Dimcl.
    Don't worry. Although You are not a grammarian, you are the best explainer. You help us a lot. Thank you very much.
    Now I am trying my sentence:
    "I express my joyful feeling by clicking on the smiling face."

    Sorry if I'm not making myself clear, Mimi...:(
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Are you sure you even want to use the term "stone grinder?" You seem to be talking about a millstone. And I would use with rather than by. "Stone grinder" sounds like something you'd grind stones with, perhaps to make gravel-- except that we call such mills "rock crushers."
    .
    .
     

    MikeLynn

    Senior Member
    Hi mimi, according to my dictionary, a grinder is a machine used for grinding something : a coffee grinder, so a stone grinder would be designed for grinding stones and I would use with as it is a tool. Nevertheless, not being a native speaker, I might be wrong.
    M&L
     
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