6

Should I say:

I want to filter users list by names.

OR :

I want to filter users list with names ??

2
  • Use by. With suggests the agent by which you will filter (or alternatively, the type of list you want to filter), rather than the criterion.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 11:40
  • Note that you filter by name, not names - unless each user has multiple names. As @Lawrence indicates, a list with names probably indicates that names are in the list, not that you want to use name as a criterion to filter the list.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 12:05

1 Answer 1

12

To choose either 'by' or 'with', you need to see if the phrase/word that comes next indicates a method or an instrument. If you want to show a method, you use by. If it's an instrument with which the activity was done, you use with:

  • I opened the bottle by removing the cap

  • I opened the bottle with a corkscrew

  • I hit him by using a bat (the method is using something)

  • I hit him with a bat

In your case, 'names' are a method used for filtering users list, not an instrument. So, you have to use 'by'. See the examples below:

I want to filter the users list by names

I want to filter the users list with a software that filters user lists by name

1
  • Not comprehensive. The clothing was sorted by John (volitional agent). The difficulty comes with: The sweets are sorted into different colours by this new machine (non-volitional agent?). Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 13:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.