below / under / beneath / underneath - cat + table

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by RoCi'S, May 14, 2009.

  1. RoCi'S Senior Member

    Hi! I do not have any context to illustrate my doubt because it came to my mind during a lesson I was delivering in a school.

    What is the difference between UNDER and BELOW? And what about BENEATH?
    For example, if I give my students a picture of a cat that is under the table. How do they know is the preposition is UNDER O BELOW? Both mean DEBAJO, ABAJO DE.

    I think BELOW works at the end of a sentence, for example: Complete the exercise below. Am I right?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2009
  2. Mate

    Mate Senior Member

    Castellano - Argentina
    Aquí hay un viejo hilo que lo explica bastante bien (y no es el único):
  3. imgdsnt

    imgdsnt New Member

    English - American
    I'd say, in that order, it goes from more widely used to less. I don't think there is a difference except that they are more used for (but not limited to) certain situations. For example "it's under, below, beneath the table" is all fine but if your in a ship you don't go under the deck you go below deck (without the the). Sometimes I hear something like, "He felt a rumble beneath him and it turned out to be an earthquake" but you can also say he felt something underneath him. Or you could say "do you see that plane flying just below the cloud?" Basically there all interchangeable, it just matters what sounds the best.

    hope this helps
  4. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Under as an adverb tends to have non-spatial meanings. When it means "below", it is usually a preposition and takes an object.
  5. Gamen Banned

    Near Buenos Aires
    Spanish Argentina
    Are "beneath" and "underneath" more formal or little used?
    Some native speaker will be able to tell me if they are more used in literature.

    Are these correct?
    The dog is under /beneath /underneath /below the table.
    The undergound or the tube passes/ runs / underneath /beneath the ground.
    The hell is below.
    Mary lives two floors more below than me. I live on the 6th floor and she lives on the 4th floor.
    Underneath/beneath the most superficial layers of the earth, you can find internal layers called tectonic plates.

    In a paper:
    See related article more bellow on this page
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  6. Tazzler Senior Member

    American English
    Yes, they are more literary. In a spatial sense all four of the originally cited words can be used interchangeably. Note that "beneath" has a meaning all its own: "unworthy" as in "such begging is beneath her." "below" could express this meaning, but it's not as common. Some comments:

    Hell (no article) is below. I'd say this.
    She lives two floors below me (no need to compare$.
    See related article below (same thing, no need to compare).

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