border (on)?

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andersxman

Senior Member
Denmark/danish
I've found the below examples on online dictionaries. Is it correct with or without the "on"? Or are both correct? (I hope so, otherwise my faith in dictionaries will suffer a devastating blow)

"Italy borders Austria in the Alps"

"the U.S. borders on Canada"

Incidentally, I am certain that I've heard someone use the preposition "with" as well. Is this wrong? For example:

"France borders "with" Germany."
 
  • nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would say "shares a border with".

    "Bordering on" something is usually used (in AE) for abstract comparision, such as "bordering on the impossible"
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    Country A borders Country B :tick: is correct.

    Country A borders on Country B :confused: sounds odd to me, because "borders on" is usually used in the context of behaviors (or as I just see that nycphotography wrote, "abstract comparisons"): What you are doing borders on abuse (meaning it is very close to what we would term abuse).

    Country A borders with Country B :cross: is incorrect. You could, however, say that Country A shares a border with Country B.

    Elizabeth
     

    andersxman

    Senior Member
    Denmark/danish
    Well, when speaking english it's quite important to be able to express that one country lies next to another...

    is "country a borders country b" normal and not disturbing to the ears of an english native speaker? What would be the most normal way of expressing the concept?
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    From dictionary.com:

    v. tr.
    1. To put a border on.
    2. To lie along or adjacent to the border of: Canada borders the United States.
    v. intr.
    1. To lie adjacent to another: The United States borders on Canada.
    2. To be almost like another in character: an act that borders on heroism.
    So it appears that Canada borders the U.S. and Canada borders on the U.S. are pretty much equivalent. I don't think of the former as suggesting that Canada surrounds the U.S. but maybe that's just me. ;)

    Elizabeth
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    andersxman said:
    Well, when speaking english it's quite important to be able to express that one country lies next to another...

    is "country a borders country b" normal and not disturbing to the ears of an english native speaker? What would be the most normal way of expressing the concept?
    And when writing English, it's kind of important to capitalize it. ;)

    I think your safest bet is the suggestion that nycp and I both gave: Country A shares a border with Country B. It's a little lengthier, but everyone will know what you mean.

    I'd also await a moderator's opinion before closing the door on this question. :)

    Elizabeth
     

    andersxman

    Senior Member
    Denmark/danish
    I shall do my utmost to capitalize the word English when writing in the future. Thanks for the correction, this time it's likely to stick!
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    "France borders Spain" is perfectly acceptable and to my ears does not suggest that France surrounds Spain.

    Other possibilities are the aforementioned "France shares a border with Spain" as well as "France has a border with Spain."

    "France borders on Spain" sounds off, dictionary.com's example notwithstanding.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    France borders on both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean - I think this is the only use of "borders on" which I would accept. Otherwise it is "France has borders with Spain, Italy, Switzerland..... etc." or "France shares a border with Spain."
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    Or (in AE) the simplest solution:

    France is next to Spain.

    Problem solved. ;)


    We also say:
    France borders Spain to the East.

    Of course, this is grossly vague, as it in no way indicates who is East of who. Yet that doesn't stop us from saying it. :D
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    What implcation does on give here, please?
    The area borders on the Yorkshire Dales.
    Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Fourth Edition
    © Pearson Education Limited 2003

    Could I say The area borders the Yorkshire Dales.(This is what I'd choose, btw, I never seen border on used like that)?
    If yes, what's the difference?

    Many thanks,
    Thomas
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    There is another expresion which is used to describe the borders of a region or a country: "British Columbia is bordered on the east by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory, on the west by the Pacific Ocean and the State of Alaska in the USA, and on the south by Washington, Idaho, and Montana in the USA." Source: http://www.canada-maps.org/british-columbia.htm
    And: "Poland is bordered on the east by Russia Federation (Kaliningrad District), Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, on the west by Germany, on the south by the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and on the north by the Baltic Sea." Source: http://circa.europa.eu/irc/dsis/regportraits/info/data/en/pl.htm
     
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