The words "buy," "bye," and "by" look and sound similar. These terms are all used differently, though, so you won\u2019t want to mix them up in your writing. Check out our guide to learn how to use each of these words correctly.\r\nBuy (Purchase)\r\n"Buy" is a verb that means "purchase" or "obtain in exchange for payment":\r\nI will buy some milk later.\r\nLess formally, it can also mean "accept something as true":\r\nHe told me he was at church, but I don\u2019t buy it.\r\nFinally, used as a noun, "buy" refers to something that was purchased:\r\nIt was a good buy at that price!\r\nThe key idea with this term, though, is purchasing something.\r\nBye (Goodbye)\r\n"Bye" is typically a shortened version of "goodbye." In most cases, then, people use it to say "farewell" when parting from one another:\r\nBye! We\u2019ll see you again soon.\r\nWhen you\u2019re writing, though, remember that this is an informal farewell.\r\nA second use is in sport, where "bye" is a noun that refers to a period when a team or player does not have to compete:\r\nRafael Nadal received a first-round bye at the US Open.\r\nThis sports usage is rarer, but it uses the same spelling.\r\nBy (Preposition or Adverb)\r\n"By" is a very common word in English with quite a few uses. Most often, it is a preposition (i.e., a word that shows the relationship between a noun and another part of a sentence). Its uses in this case include saying:\r\n\r\n\tWho or what did something (The book was written by the author)\r\n\tHow something was done (I got there by bus)\r\n\tThat something is near to something (It\u2019s by my desk)\r\n\tThat something must be done by a certain point (Please do it by Monday)\r\n\r\nAs an adverb, meanwhile, we use "by" to show movement past something. This can be either physical movement or passage through time:\r\nWe walked by your old house yesterday.\r\nThe years passed by, but nothing changed.\r\nThis word has a lot of uses, so it can be hard to remember them all! But the key is knowing that "by" is usually a preposition, never a noun or a verb.\r\nSummary: Buy, Bye, or By?\r\nTo make sure you use the correct spelling, remember:\r\n\r\n\tBuy is usually a verb and means "purchase."\r\n\tBye is typically short for "goodbye," but it is also a noun meaning "a time when a team or player does not have to compete" in sport.\r\n\tBy can be a preposition or an adverb, but never a verb or noun. Common uses include saying who did something or how something was done.\r\n\r\nIn other words, if you\u2019re purchasing something, use "buy." For an informal farewell, say "bye." But in most other cases, the correct word will be "by."\r\nFor more help with your spelling, or any other aspect of your writing, why not submit a free sample document for proofreading today?