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the other side of the wall

Discussion in 'English Only' started by wanabee, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. wanabee Senior Member

    Dear all,

    I hear a bug moving around. Could you look at the other side of the wall?

    I made up the sentences.
    I intend to mean "the reverse side of the wall" by "the other side of the wall", not the space behind the wall. If I want to be clear about that, "Could you look at the other surface of the wall?" or "Could you look at the reverse side of the wall?" would be better?

    I would appreciate any comments from my teachers.
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I'm no teacher, wanabee, but "the other side of the wall" looks OK to me. It would probably be clearer to stick with "the reverse side of the wall".
  3. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    I don't think anyone is going to think you mean the space inside the wall because that is generally inaccessible without using an axe. :)
  4. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Could you look at the other side of the wall? looks OK to me. If you meant the space behind the wall, you would say: the space/cupboard/room (on) the other side of the wall.
  5. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    I see the ambiguity that you are talking about. We say "Her office is on the other side of the wall." not meaning that her office is on the wall with all the furniture turned 90 degrees so it's "on the side of the wall" instead of "on the floor". It means her office is in the next room. "My neighbor's house is on the other side of the fence."
    All the options given have the potential to confuse someone unless there is more context. The reverse side of the wall seems to suggest reversing the wall - spinning it around like a coin. ;)
    The clearest thing I can think of is:
    Go into the next room and look at this wall from the other side.
  6. wanabee Senior Member

    Thank you very much, owlman5, Copyright, Keith, and Myridon!
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Look at the other side of the wall - very strongly suggests to me a request to look at the wall itself.
    Look on the other side of the wall - just might mean the same, especially if I am to look for something that is likely to be on the surface of the wall (spider, picture, graffiti). Otherwise it is probably a request to look in the place that is located beyond the wall.
  8. wanabee Senior Member

    Thank you very much, panjandrum!

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