Why must I say

I go to work every day with my red bicycle

and not

… by my red bicycle"?

Shouldn't I use by in front of a means of transport?

For example, the following sentence is grammatical:

If I travel to work every day, the travelling is performed by my bicycle and me.

And from the website, English Teacher Melanie, I learned verbs can be used instead of "by".

How do you get to work?

  1. I drive to work.
  2. … take the bus to work.
  3. ride my bike to work.
  4. … walk to work.
  5. … take the subway to work.

But she doesn't say "why" I cannot say: I go to work by my red bike.

  • Why is by wrong in my sentence?

closed as off-topic by Nathaniel, Mari-Lou A, FumbleFingers, user140086, Hellion Nov 20 '15 at 21:26

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  • By bicycle = means of transport. With bicycle still works, however, if you are trying to say something like "I put my bike in my car, drive to work, and ride bike during my lunch break." – Nathaniel Nov 20 '15 at 19:40
  • Please spend some time checking your spelling before posting: It's "by my RED bicycle" – Mari-Lou A Nov 20 '15 at 19:46
  • absolutely right! I get really annoyed myself when I see spelling mistakes. Thanks very much – elisabetta smith Nov 20 '15 at 20:00
  • 1
    Why not "on my red bicycle"? – Hot Licks Nov 20 '15 at 20:36
  • 1
    Neither of your options is correct. Two correct options are offered below: "I go to work every day on my red bicycle" and "I go to work every day by bicycle." But to answer your question WHY? This answer is simply that certain phrases are idiomatic while others aren't. We ride in a car, but we ride on a bus. Why is that? Don't we actually ride in a bus? Yes, but we just don't say it that way. Especially when dealing with prepositions, there is often no clear reason why one is preferred over another. We often say things just because that is the way they are said. – user66965 Nov 20 '15 at 20:40

You can say

I go to work every day by bicycle.

But if you use by [method of transportation], the grammar requires the noun to look like a mass noun, so it can't have an indefinite article or be pluralized. So you can say

I travel to work every day by bus.

But you would have to say

I travel to work every day on two busses.


"I go to work every day on my red bicycle."

  • 3
    While technically correct, I think some explanation would be help the querent. – Premier Bromanov Nov 20 '15 at 20:33

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