C is <across from?> A [describing location]

aha123

Senior Member
Mixed Asian Languages
I don't know how to describe this properly. An road intersection has four corners like below. I can say B and D are next to A. How to describe C in relation to A? Can I say C is across from A? But when I tell this to a person who is at A, please he will mistake C for B or D.


A||B
= =
D||C
 
  • morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    "Across the road from A" is good enough for me, but if you want to be exact, then "diagonally from A" will work. Or "diagonally across (the road) from A".
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    You mean:

    C is across the road from A
    = C is diagonally across from A
    = C is diagonally across the road from A


    Also, I can't say B(or D) is across the road from A, correct?
    No. By definition, all corners (in your diagram) are across some road from each other - so A is across the road from D, and from B; only C is diagonally across the road from A (and vice versa)
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Beryl,

    Actually, why not? The only drawback is, it is imprecise, you point to possibly more than one place; but it is permissible for me to say "The restaurant is across the road from the mall", unless I am asked for exact location; then I have to say across which road of the two.
     

    MikeLynn

    Senior Member
    How about C is cater-cornered (cater-corner) from A? I was really surprised when I heard it for the first time; there's no equivalent in Czech and it is surprisingly succinct, neat and precise.
     

    MikeLynn

    Senior Member
    Well, I believe it may not be a common expression in the States. I'm not sure about it being just BE; I learned it from Canadians and the New Oxford American Dictionary on my Mac doesn't label it as British English. :)
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think maybe one UK resident in a thousand would know 'cater-cornered' (that's probably generous). I remember my American grandfather using it, and him realizing with consternation that no-one knew what he was on about - on that basis, as a child, I put it down to it being some item of AE (erroneously it would seem).

    To put things in some kind of perspective, I have found (to my initial consternation) that many here (UK) understand 'parallel' to mean horizontal, or flat; 'perpendicular' if it computes at all, means vertical, and is swiftly corrected to 'plumb (oh, you mean plumb!)'; 'paediatrician' to mean paedophile; and so on. Believe you me, I've tried for 'diagonally', I really have...so what chance cater-cornered?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I think maybe one UK resident in a thousand would know 'cater-cornered' (that's probably generous). I remember my American grandfather using it, and him realizing with consternation that no-one knew what he was on about - on that basis, as a child, I put it down to it being some item of AE (erroneously it would seem).

    To put things in some kind of perspective, I have found (to my initial consternation) that many here (UK) understand 'parallel' to mean horizontal, or flat; 'perpendicular' if it computes at all, means vertical, and is swiftly corrected to 'plumb (oh, you mean plumb!)'; 'paediatrician' to mean paedophile; and so on. Believe you me, I've tried for 'diagonally', I really have...so what chance cater-cornered?
    Absolutely! I always thought cater-cornered meand diamond-shaped. Diagonal is the word you need.
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    The usual AE spellings are kitty-corner or catty-corner. M-W defines it as
    : in a diagonal or oblique position <the house stood kitty–corner across the square>
    and goes on to say that cater-corner is the original, attested in 1838 but obsolete, version.

    Under its preferred spelling kitty-corner, it gives synonyms:
    It's not a word I use everyday, but I do use it when appropriate and I've always been understood.
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm familiar with "kitty-cornered" which is clearly a variation of "cater-cornered". I have only heard and seen it, in the USA and I don't know anything like it in BE English. I remember thinking it was an interesting word and better than 'diagonally across from', but I had no idea of the origin, which is, according to WR dictionary and others, from the French/Latin for 'four'.

    I'm not sure how to use it though. Would one say "C is kitty/cater-cornered from A" or "C is on the kitty/cater-corner from/of A".

    Hermione
     
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    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Kitty-, by a large margin over cater-, but cater- is heard occasionally in AE.

    If I heard "directly opposite" (or across) I would take it to emphasize that it wasn't offset by the slightest amount.
     
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