Giving directions: go north = go up?

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mikichan

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi.

When you give someone directions, does north means up and south means south, or do you use either up/north to mean any direction?

Ex. "Go up/down this street for 3 miles."

Would your answer differ if you were pointing at a road on a map that runs vertically from north to south?

Thank you.
 
  • colognial

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Hi, mikichan. I feel "up" or "down" is almost always applied to a road in an arbitrary way and that the use of such a word when giving directions does depend on the (dis)position of the speaker, unless if the road happens to be sloped. But I would also like to learn from native contributors how they work it out in their minds.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    We've had considerable discussion on "up" and "down" a street, mikichan.

    Have you checked them?

    A half block up the street
    brave enough to stand up to/against the street bullies
    financial instruments dreamt up by Wall Street??
    get up off the street
    he picked it up on the street
    pick up money on the street
    pick up on/from the street
    set off at a jog up one street and down another
    stays up the block & eat across the street
    The street leads up to..., attracting numero
    To walk up/down a street
    up his street
    up or down the street?
    up the little merchant's street painted green and red
    Up the street/Down the street
    up the wrong street
    Up/Down the street
    Up/down the street
    walk up/down a street
    walk up/walk down a street
    "Pretty woman, walking down the street...''
    "The evening light was raking down the street"
    A man and (a) woman are walking down the street.
    As he was walking down the street
    Don't turn down/on Bay Street
    down the street
    down/along the street
    Driving down the street
    go down the street by bike
    I smelled worse than the place down the street we shut down.
    laying down a stretch of rubber on the street
    Linda saw a boy walking down the street.
    set off at a jog up one street and down another
    They spotted the same man again, walking down the Newbury Street.
    To walk up/down a street
    Two blocks down the street
    up or down the street?
    walk along/down a street
    walk down/on the street
    walking down the street
    walking down the street
    Walking down the street, my hat blew off.
    What do we exactly mean by "walking down the street"
     

    mikichan

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you so much sdgraham!

    I' read some pages in your link and found that up/down has no connections to north/south and can be used interchangeably in real life.

    I searched "map" with all your links but found zero word "map", so if you don't mind my asking, I have a question.

    Would you more likely to use "up" and say "Go up this street for 3 miles." if you were pointing at a road on a map that runs vertically from south to north, and moving your finger from lower part of the map to the upper part of the map...or would you use up/down interchangeably in this case as well?

    Thank you.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I would tend to say "along this street": maps don't always show streets in a north/south direction. I'd only use "up" or "down" if I knew there was a hill there: otherwise it could confuse the person.
     

    mikichan

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you so much DonnyB! I sometimes have to give directions using a map, so your answer gives me confidence. Thank you again!
     
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