'By Train' or 'With Train': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on June 28, 2023

Do you need to know the difference between 'by train' or 'with train?' If so, you are in luck!

Here is a short answer: 

  • 'By train' is a grammatically correct way to say that something or someone travels via a train. 
  • 'With train' is a grammatical error because you use by with forms of transportation, for example, by car, by plane, by boat, by motorcycle.

Read the rest of this post to learn the meaning, grammar and usage tips, and the definition of 'by train.'

What is the Difference Between 'By Train' or 'With Train?'

The major difference between these terms is that the first uses the by preposition, while the latter uses with. By refers to the person, people, or thing that is doing something. With indicates that someone or something is doing something accompanied by someone or something else.

The former term means that someone or something is using a train as a mode of transportation.

You use the preposition by with all vehicles and forms of travel, for example:

  • We are going to travel by car through some of the most beautiful parts of the country this summer.
  • Do you know if the shipment is coming by boat, train, or plane?
  • Every year the team travels by bus across the state to participate in the competition.

How to Use 'By Train'

You know that 'by train' is the correct term. But how do you know when to use it?

  • Use 'by train' to say that someone is traveling on a train.

For example, you could say:

We are going by train. If you would like to join us, you will need to buy a ticket. 

  • Use 'by train' when you are talking about goods or materials arriving on a train.

For example, I might say:

After the materials arrive by train, the workers have to unload the containers.

Definition of 'By Train': What Does It Mean?

The phrase contains two words. So, to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning, we are going to look at the definition of the preposition by and the noun train

Definition of By

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'by' means:

  • Near or close to

It can also mean:

  • Close or in proximity to
  • In the vicinity of
  • In a specified direction
  • By means of something
  • Parented or born of
  • A function word of multiplication
  • A function word to give increments

It can also be an adverb that means:

  • Go past
  • To stop somewhere
  • Existing close or nearby another point

Definition of Train

The same defines a 'train' as:

  • A connected row of railcars

It can also mean:

  • A caravan of moving possessions
  • The trail behind a comet or shooting star
  • An ordered succession of thoughts
  • An ordered succession of objects
  • Consequences that follow an event
  • Parts in a system that chemical engineers use to achieve a result or create a process

It can also be a verb that means:

  • T0 practice something
  • To form a skill through drills or instruction
  • Directing the growth of a plant by pruning, guiding, or tying

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'By Train'

Learning the pronunciation of terms can help you use them more confidently, whether you are a native English speaker or just starting to learn the language.

So, let's take a look at the pronunciation of 'by train.'

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'by train':

bī trān

Examples of Sentences

Before you go, take a look at these examples of sentences using 'by train' or 'with train.' They will help you see the difference between these terms and why 'by train' is correct.

By Train

  • When you travel by train, you have an opportunity to enjoy some beautiful scenery.
  • It takes three hours to get there by train.
  • Do you prefer to travel by train, ship, or plane?
  • All of our domestic shipments arrive by train. It is more cost-effective than shipping by air or sea.
  • If you plan on traveling across the country by train, make sure you have plenty of books and activities to occupy yourself.
  • If you are going to the Canadian Rockies, you should consider going by train. It is beautiful during winter.
  • Does your company ship by train? We want to work with a company that supports the railroad. However, we are willing to make a change if it makes the most sense for our organization and customers.

With Train

  • When you travel with train you have an opportunity to enjoy the scenery.
  • It takes you three hours to get home with train.
  • 'Do you prefer to travel with train or automobile?
  • When you are traveling cross-country with train, you might get bored without anything to occupy your time.
  • Most people think that going with train is less expensive, but it can actually be quite pricey.
  • Going with train was so much fun. The food was excellent, and there were nightly shows.
  • If your shipment is arriving with train, you will need to show your bill of lading at the train depot before you can pick up your shipment.

As you can see in the example above, 'with train' does not make sense.

Final Thoughts on 'By Train' or 'With Train'

We covered a lot of information. So, here is a quick recap of what you learned about the difference between 'by train' or 'with train.'

  • 'By train' is the grammatically correct ay to say that someone or something is traveling via the railroad. 
  • 'With train' is a grammatical error, so you should not use it. 

Sometimes, even after learning the correct usage and meaning of a term, you can get mixed up. So, you can always return to this page if you need to review this lesson.

You can also learn a lot from reading the other confusing words guides here. They contain a ton if information to help you expand your vocabulary, gain confidence speaking and writing English terms, and learn essential grammar rules. So, if you want to improve your verbal communication skills or become a better writer, they will help!

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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