How do I Do It? By + Gerund

When someone asks a how question, the easiest way to answer is with the preposition by + a gerund.

For example:

How can I stay in shape?  You can do it ______________________________

  • by walking places instead of driving.
  • by eating healthy food.
  • by going to the gym.              cycling-79618_960_720To make your answer negative, just but the word NOT in front of the gerund:

You can stay in shape by NOT driving everywhere.urban-438393_960_720

You can stay in shape by NOT eating junk food.salmon-518032_960_720

You can stay in shape by NOT being a couch potato.

Let’s try another example:  How can I be an interesting conversation partner?

head-1965678_960_720 You can do it by being a good listener.  You can do it by asking your partner good questions.  You can do it by not talking too much.

Using by + a gerund is a quick way to give an opinion or make a suggestion.  Get good at using this form by practicing!