творительный падеж с with и by: в чем отличие

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    По словам учителя, творительный падеж выражается посредством with или by, который стоит перед словом, обозначающим действующее лицо или силу.
    А есть ли отличие между ними? Когда употреблять with, а когда в таком случае by? или это не принципиально?

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    I found this discussion at http://www.slideshare.net/lucyvera/oxford-guide-to-english-grammar

    It’s very complicated, but I hope it will help you:

    PREPOSITIONS PAGE 300 5 We use with and by to express means. a We use with to talk about an instrument, a thing we use to carry out an action. The thieves broke the door down with a hammer. Just stir this with a wooden spoon, could you? By is more abstract. It refers to the means in general rather than to a specific thing. I paid by credit card. The motor is powered by electricity. They broke the door down by force. We use by before a gerund. They got in by breaking down the door. NOTE a Some passive sentences have by + agent. The door was broken down by two men/with a hammer. b We say write in pen/in pencil. b We also use by + noun for means of transport. We do not use the. I prefer to travel by train. NOT travel by the train and NOT travel with the train We can say e.g. by bike, by car/road, by taxi, by bus/coach, by train/tube/rail, by boat/ship/ferry/hovercraft, by sea, by plane/air. We do not use by to mean a specific bike, car etc. I'll go on my bike. NOT ill go by my bike. We can say on my bike, in the/my car, in a taxi, on the bus/train/boat/plane etc. On foot means 'walking'. I prefer to go on foot/ to walk. NOT go by foot NOTE Look at these examples expressing movement. The passengers got into/out of the car/taxi. Nancy got on/off her bike/the bus/the train. We went on board the ship. c We can also use by for means of communication, e.g. by letter/post, by phone, by telegram/telex/fax. I spoke to Andy by phone/on the phone. I sent the information by post. NOTE Andy isn't on the phone. = Andy hasn't got a phone. 6 We use as to express a role or function. Maria has come along as our guide. (She is our guide.) I'm having to use the sofa as my bed. (It is my bed.) We can sometimes leave out the after as. • 167(5) We use like to express a comparison. She slapped his face. The noise was like a pistol shot. I think Louise looks a bit like Marilyn Monroe. Compare as and like. He speaks as an expert. He is after all a professor. He talks like an expert, but really he knows nothing. NOTE a Like can also come in front position. Like everyone else, I have to pay my taxes. b Unlike is the opposite of like. It's unlike Fiona to be late. She's usually very punctual.

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    На мой взгляд, by-требует одушевлённого существительного, а with-неодушевлённого

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    В этих словах действительно есть разница, with обозначает орудие ( чем произведено действие) например: She wrote her letter with a pen. Она написала письмо ручкой. By обозначает деятеля ( кто совершил действие ) Например: "Hamlet" was written by Shakespeare.