Opposite / In front of

  • Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Difficult.

    In front of is a preposition that links two things. If a postbox is in front of a shop, then it stands close to the shop, and, more specifically, close to the side of the shop that opens onto the street, where the main entrance is.

    Opposite is also a preposition that links two things, but it implies that there is some kind of line dividing the two, usually a road, a river or something similar. The two things occupy a similar position on each side of this dividing line. So, if a postbox is opposite a shop, we can understand that it is on the other side of the street, at a similar distance along the street, and probably at a similar distance from the centre of the street, as if the street were a mirror and the postbox were the reflection of the shop.
     

    HyphenSpider

    Banned
    Spanish, Spain
    Ok I think I got it... So if the objects are divided by a road, a river or something I must use opposite, and if they're not in front of?

    Thanks!!
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Hmmm here's another take. However, you have to bear in mind that both (and especially oposite) have other meanings too. I assume however that you want a difinition of the meanings I chose to explain :)

    In front of: When X faces at one direction and what X sees is Y then Y is in front of X

    i.e. In front of my school there's a garden. (When you walk out the front entrance of the scholl you will find a garden)

    He stood in front of me (we were in a line and he was the person before me)

    Opposite: When X and Y are face to face more or less

    i.e. There's a garage opposite my building (the entrance of the garage and my building face each other)

    He sat opposite from me (i.e. we were at a restaurant and he was sitting at the sit at the other end of the table)
     

    yuxtapuesta

    Member
    Canadian English
    Opposite is a rather British way of saying it. I believe you'll almost never hear a speaker of AE or CE use that; rather, we'd say "across from" or "across the ___ (river, street, etc) from".

    Ireney, I'd say that's a rather good description.
     

    Rajkamal

    New Member
    Hindi
    Could you tell me the difference between opposite and in front of? Please be clear as it's difficult for me to understand it...

    Thanks,
    Re: Opposite / In front of
    In front of is a preposition that shows the location of two objects/ persons etc.. For example when the children are standing in a row it can be said that each of them are standing in-front of the child standing behind.

    Opposite is also a preposition which shows that objects/ persons etc.. are placed in anti-positions. For example when we stand in-front of a mirror, the image formed in mirror is opposite to us. Like wise we often sit opposite to dine or for lunch.
     

    bangla

    Member
    Bangla
    Could you tell me the difference between opposite and in front of? Please be clear as it's difficult for me to understand it...

    Thanks,
    Hello HyphenSpider,
    opposite and in front of are prepositions and the meaning of the two prepositions are different to each other.
    opposite means on the other side of a particular area from somebody or something, usually facing them. for instance, Write your address opposite.
    And in front of means the part or side of something that faces forward the side of something that you look at first. For example, the front of the car was badly damaged.
    Thank you.:)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hello HyphenSpider,
    ...
    And in front of means the part or side of something that faces forward the side of something that you look at first. For example, the front of the car was badly damaged.
    Thank you.:)
    You are confusing "in front of the car", defined as above, and "the front of the car".
     
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