alongside of the vessel

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Senior Member
Hello, I read such a sentence. Several times it (the cable) was caught and brought up within sight of the watchers; once it was alongside of the vessel, but broke away before it could be made fast. Why did the writer use "alongside of the vessel", not "alongside the vessel"? I have looked up in the dictionary, and found that "alongside" can be both an adverb and a preposition. If "alongside of the vessel" is used, what part of speech is the word "alongside"? Thank you in advance
  • AlwaysLearner

    Senior Member
    The source is Royal Literature Readers. The essay is a text entitled "The Story of Cyrus Field II". The essay is about Cyrus Field and his business partners tried to lay a cable across the Atlantic; they failed many times and finally they succeeded.

    Pauline Meryle

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Just one of those "extra" prepositions often used in AE and which to a BE speaker sound unnecessary. Other examples: "inside of", "outside of".

    The writer could indeed have used "alongside the vessel".

    I hope someone can tell you what part of speech "alongside" is in each case.


    American English
    Since it describes the position of the cable---"... once it was alongside of the vessel ..."---I consider it to be a preposition. As Pauline feels, I could also take or leave "of", it doesn't change the meaning with or without it.

    If they were describing the moving part, for example, "alongside (of)" could then be an adverb for me, i.e., "... they were moving the cable alongside (of) the vessel ...".

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