''Close'' Vs ''near'': two events near in time

< Previous | Next >

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

Which of the options (close vs near) are idiomatic/common English? If neither, what do you suggest? Please take a look.

a. My birthday is close to the Brazilian Independence Day. Vs My birthday is near the Brazilian Independence Day.
b. The meeting is close to the party. Vs The meeting is near the party.
c. My birthday and the party are very close together. They will happen at days that are near in time.

Meaning intended: two events will happen at dates that are near in time to one another, there isn't much time distance between two events: birthdays, meetings, parties, etc. For example: my birthday is on the 3rd and Brazilian Independence Day is on the 7th.

Thank you in advance!
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    When it's clear that you're discussing time you can use either one.

    Your second example, (b), creates a problem. Meetings and parties have places as well as times. When we hear either "near" or "close" we think of place first, then time only if place doesn't make sense in the context. You must say something like "The time of the meeting is near the time of the party" or "the meeting is scheduled for about the same time as the party" if you want people to understand that you mean that their times are near each other.

    By the way, we would say "Brazilian Independence Day" without "the." Articles are not used with proper nouns (names of people, things, etc.). We'd say "I'm standing near Susan," not "I'm standing near the Susan." You might say "the Brazilian independence day" if you have been discussing the independence days of several countries and want to be clear about which one is on September 7th, but that would be rare.
    < Previous | Next >