by the dictionary


Senior Member
pls is it possible to substitute the preposition "according to" by the preposition "by" in a sentence like this:

"He spelled all words according to the dictionary."

Could these two prepositions be substituted in some other context?

Thank you
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I've never heard this either; I would say that it is not idiomatic to do so. It is idiomatic to say "by the book" ("according to regulations" - it may not be an actual book, or even formal rules; it's often metaphorical), but not "by the dictionary".
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