across and across from

Julianus

Senior Member
Korean
Hello.

As far as I know, 'across' can mean both movement and position. But 'across from' can mean just only 'position'. Then, when I express 'position', can I use both 'across' and 'across from' like following?

1a. He lives across the road. b. He lives across from the road.
2a. The store is just across my house. b. The store is just across from my house.
3a. He sat across me at the table. b. He sat across from me at the table.

Do both (a) and (b) version all correct and completely have the same meaning?

Thank you always~.
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    1a is fine 1b is not.

    2a and 3a aren't English ... unless you mean in in 3a that somebody is sitting on top of your body.

    Note the usage in "The tree fell across the road" and "The pub is across the road."

    Obviously the meanings are different.

    If you're looking for an immutable "rule," you will be frustrated. Like many things in English you just have to learn the idiomatic use of the language.
     
    Last edited:

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    No. Across by itself is used with the item that separates two things. Therefore, "the house is across the road" is correct, since the road separates the speaker from the house, but "the house is across from the road" is not correct.

    The phrase across from is used with a specific item or point that is separated from another point by something between them. Therefore, "the house is across from the post office" is correct, since the house is one point and the post office is another, but "the house is across the post office" is not correct. The post office does not separate anything from the house.

    You should now be able to figure out whether (a) or (b) is correct in all three of your examples. In each case, only one is correct.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    To 1b, my response would be, "across what from the road?" If there were a field between his house and the field, he would live "across the field from the road," but I'm not sure what "across from the road" would mean by itself.

    2a: Something "across your house" would lie over the top of it - perhaps a tarp that was covering your roof during repairs.

    3a raises very odd implications. :D

    Edit: Crossposted with sdgraham and Egmont; at least we all agree.
     
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