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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Preposition of place     

Preposition of place



Alyona C.
Ukraine

Preposition of place
 
Hi everybody!
Could you explain the difference between the prepositions next to and near, in front of and opposite?
Thanks in advance.

8 Feb 2017      



redcamarocruiser
United States

 
At the table, Linus sat opposite to the brown haired girl (Marcie?).  
Sally, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, and Snoopy sat facing Franklin. 
The sundaes are near the cake plates. 
  
 
The little kids are standing      The man is standing before the judge.
in front of their sisters. 
 
 

8 Feb 2017     



redcamarocruiser
United States

http://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/10186/the-opposite-of-vs-opposite-to may help further.

8 Feb 2017     



ldeloresmoore
China

Think of "near" as just showing the area, but not the exact location.  If I tell you that my phone is always near me, you know that it is in a place where I can reach it easily.   
 
But if I tell you my phone is beside (next to) me, you know that it is either on my right or my left.  You know the exact location.
 
 
Opposite  indicates that there is some structure used for organization (a street, a table, an isle, etc), and things or people are positioned in ways indicated by this structure (buildings on a street, people around a table, vendors along isles in a market). So,  "A" is opposite "B" means that "B" is in the same position as "A", but on the other side of the organizing structure (table, isle, street, etc) 
 
"Across from" is used in the same way as "opposite". 
 
"In front of" --  It is possible to use this in the same way as "opposite" -- BUT -- It can also be used when there is no organizing structure (no street, no isle, etc), and it is used only to show position.  "Opposite" and "Across from" don ´t have this ability. 

9 Feb 2017     



silvanija
Lithuania

 
 
Maybe "in front of" exists only when something is "behind" it and vice  versa.  
 
"Opposite":  two people or things facing each other    .
 
 

11 Feb 2017     



redcamarocruiser
United States

@silvanija "In front of" does not require something to be behind the object the speaker is talking about or behind the speaker.  "He was standing in front of the mirror" is one example.
 
Regarding ´opposite ´, dictionaries say that one should use "opposite something" as in "The post office is opposite the bank."
http://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tpv2guides/guides/wrtps/index-eng.html?lang=eng&lettr=indx_catlog_o&page=9bc-oel_37mg.html , but in my area, I often hear  "opposite to" "opposite from" and "opposite of" . It is as if people are using an analogous structure to "across from" "next to" "to the left of" .  Honestly, when I hear something or someone is opposite something or someone else, it  feels like something (to, from, or of) is missing. I wonder if that is the same in other areas.
 
An example of "opposite from" can be found here at the Library of Congress in a published work

11 Feb 2017     



redcamarocruiser
United States

Previous post too long.

11 Feb 2017     



silvanija
Lithuania

Thank you for the explanation, Mary.

We have one word for "in front of" and "opposite" in Lithuanian. After reading what you have written, I think I will have difficulty explaining the difference between the two. Does it mean that every "opposite" can be changed to "in front of" when talking about place?

11 Feb 2017     



redcamarocruiser
United States

No, sometimes opposite is across from.

11 Feb 2017