next to / beside

Syagrius

Senior Member
Français. Québec¸Canada.
Bonjour

Je voudrais savoir s'il y a une différence entre "next to" et "beside" en AE et en BE.

Y a-t-il des moments où on utilise l'un plutôt que l'autre ?

Jean is sitting beside/next to Claude.
Claude is lying next to /beside Lina.

Votre opinion s.v.p.

Merci:) .
 
  • timboleicester

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Bonjour

    Je voudrais savoir s'il y a une différence entre "next to" et "beside" en AE et en BE.

    Y a-t-il des moments où on utilise l'un plutôt que l'autre ?

    Jean is sitting beside/next to Claude.
    Claude is lying next to /beside Lina.

    Votre opinion s.v.p.

    Merci:) .
    To my mind 'next to' merely denotes a position and 'beside' some purpose involved in being next to someone.

    I sat next to an old man on the bus..no purpose to it other than to sit
    I sat beside my dad to hear him better..reason involved

    or I may be making this all up of course.....
     

    Willis

    Member
    U.S. - English
    Both basically mean the same, but...

    As timbo said, next to is only a position. It is only a physical reference.
    "The book is next to the ruler"

    Beside can mean next to or close to as a physical reference.
    "The chair is beside the bookcase"

    Or

    Beside can also be used abstractly and more loosely.
    "I will stand beside you on this difficult decision."
    "I'll be beside you every step of the way (in life's long journey)"

    I guess it is sort of a form of by your side, as in...
    "If you are ever scared, remember, I am by your side."
     

    Garbuz

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Do you think it would be correct to say that 'beside' is only used when X and Y are in the same row, while 'next to' is more flexible and can describe any configuration when the two objects are close and there is nothing in between them? For example, if X and Y are queueing you would probably say: X is standing next to Y (not 'beside Y'), because a queue is more like a column than a row. Or, X sat next to Y, a little behind. Again, 'beside' wouldn't fit in this sentence because its not possible to be in he same row and to be behind at the same time.
     

    timboleicester

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Goodness 8 years later....and I am still alive yay!

    Anyway...in a queue x would be either behind or in front ..of y...not really next to or beside unless of course they are in the same position in the queue, ie they are a couple.
     
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