by/near/ (at?) the border

< Previous | Next >

GandalfMB

Senior Member
Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
Hello,
Do the sentences below sound okay to you? (Provided that the speaker is from Belgium)
- I live in a town near the Dutch-Belgian border.
- I live in a town by the Dutch-Belgian border.
- I live in a town near/by the border with the Netherlands.

And here's a sentence I've just found: "Syrian refugee children play in a camp at the Syrian-Turkish border near Azaz " - Can we say at the.....border?


Thank you.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    For me, the only one of those that jars is “by the border with the Netherlands” — in that case, I think next to would sound better. But “on the border” is probably more common than any of your suggestions.
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    I thought it would be something like that. So, "By the Dutch-Belgian border" sounds okay and "By the border with the Netherlands" doesn't? Is it because "...the border with..."?
    If town's 5-10 miles from the border, isn't it near the border? To me, "on the border" sounds like it's on the border itself. Native speakers probably don't see it that way. :) I am a little surprised that "near" doesn't really work but... :)
    At the.....border doesn't seem to be common either.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Who said near doesn’t work? Near the border is fine. As I said, they’re all okay, but one of them just jarred a bit for me.

    How accurate you need to be will surely depend on the context in which you’re saying this. It’s common for areas, towns, forests, etc. to be described as lying on the border with a certain country, or on the border between countries A and B. The term would not be taken to mean literally straddling a line that forms the border.
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    I see. One last question. Do "on the Dutch-Belgian border" and "on the border with the Netherlands" (if the listener already knows that the speaker lives in Belgium) sound equally natural?

    Thank you for your help, lingobingo. Good night.
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    Hello again, lingobingo. Ah, there's something I forgot to mention last night. I've also heard people say: "I live in a town on the border of the Netherlands" sound natural?
    I find it a little unusual, but it might sound fine, I don't know.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s not ungrammatical, and it might work in the right context, but on its own it doesn’t even tell us which country you’re in. “On the Netherlands border” sounds more natural to me (although I’d almost certainly say “on the Dutch border”).
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    Here's a more complete version of the sentence: "I am from Ghent, but I currently live in a village on the border of the Netherlands". I've heard other non-native speakers say that too. Someone I used to go fishing with once said to me that his family lived in a town on the border of France. (He was from Germany).

    As you say, I'd expect "The German/French border" or "The Netherlands border".
     
    Last edited:

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It still sounds odd to me, even with that context – in which “on the border with the Netherlands” would sound much more natural.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top