Rachel lives in <southern> <the southern part of> England.

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homotopy07

Senior Member
Japanese
(1) Rachel lives in southern England.

(2) Rachel lives in the southern part of England.

(3) Rachel lives not in northern England but in southern England.

Is there any difference in connotation/meaning between #1 and #2?

I think #2 is a bit closer in meaning to #3 than #1 is, but I'm not sure.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    We normally call those areas the North [of England] and the South [of England]. But it’s also possible to describe them in other ways, such as northern and southern England or the northern and southern areas of England.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    We normally call those areas the North [of England] and the South [of England]. But it’s also possible to describe them in other ways, such as northern and southern England or the northern and southern areas of England.
    :tick:

    ''I'm from the North-East of England.''
    I'm sorry, but none of your suggestions sounds at all natural or real. It's a complicated topic with several options.
    As phrased, your question is unanswerable.
     

    homotopy07

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thanks, Golightly. :)
    Could you please provide a context?
    Sorry, I can't come up with an appropriate context. :oops: (Please see my signature line.)

    Southern England and the southern part of England are phrases that I have seen several times in grammar books for Japanese learners of English. I started this thread to see if they would work for native English speakers.
     
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    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Can I rest assured that it is OK to omit of England when the context makes the meaning clear?
    Yes. Provided it’s clear that the text or conversation is about England, you can safely refer to the South and the North without fear of ambiguity as to the meaning.

    NB: I see that Wikipedia has articles headed “Southern England” and “Northern England”, which is somewhat misleading.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Southern/Northern England' is a very vague expression, as is the southern/ northern part of England.
    Southern England
    and the southern part of England are the phrases I have seen several times in grammar books for Japanese learners of English. I started this thread to see if they would work for native English speakers.
    The problem is what does 'work for' mean'.


    These are valid phrases, up to a point. They might have a definition if we are talking about a weather forecast, but I really don't know where, officially, 'southern' starts or 'northern' begins.
    :DIt's a standing joke that southerners think that 'the north' starts about seventy miles north of London. a place called the Watford Gap. Northerners think that 'the south' starts south of where they happen to be. That might sound like a joke ... . Personally I have precise degrees of 'Northern' depending on geographical context. 'Southern' is anything that can't be described as 'northern'.
     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    'Southern/Northern England' is a very vague expression, as is the southern/ northern part of England.

    The problem is what does 'work for' mean'.


    These are valid phrases, up to a point. They might have a definition if we are talking about a weather forecast, but I really don't know where, officially, 'southern' starts or 'northern' begins.
    It's a standing joke that southerners think that 'the north' starts about thirty miles north of London. Northerners think that 'the south' starts south of where they happen to be. That might sound like a joke ... . Personally I have precise degrees of 'Northern' depending on context. 'Southern' is anything that can't be described as 'northern'.
    The terms are clearly vague but may meet the needs of the speaker. Like Northern Japan and Southern Japan would be for us. If more precision is needed, it can be requested by the listener:)
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I somewhat disagree. A 'lack of significance'assumes a context in which the/a difference is insignificant.
    I have no idea what difference/s there might be between Northern and Southern Japan, none whatsoever. I find it difficult to imagine a context in which a difference made no difference.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I somewhat disagree. A 'lack of significance'assumes a context in which the/a difference is insignificant.
    I have no idea what difference/s there might be between Northern and Southern Japan, none whatsoever. I find it difficult to imagine a context in which a difference made no difference.
    ??? You would not have even a vague idea what was meant by Northern Japan? I agree you might not know where the speaker was imagining the division between the two part, that's why I said it was "vague". Northern Japan gets a lot more snow than Southern Japan, but generally suffers the ill-effects of fewer typhoons. Similarly, many of the vowels of speakers from northern England sound a little different from those in southern England. Neither is intended to be a precise statement. Imagining a wide fuzzy line at a latitude halfway between the geographical extremes would work admirably )
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Nope, I haven't a clue what the difference beween northern and southern Japan might be apart from the north being north of the south. Why would should I?:( I've never even thought about it. My terms of reference are European and to some extent North American.
    I daresay I know a lot about things you are ignorant of.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I'm sure you do, but that was not presented as a showing off of my knowledge of the two halves of Japan any more than it was for the vowel characteristics in the two halves of England :eek: The question was asked by a Japanese person about the best way to say Southern England or the South of Engand.
    (1) Rachel lives in southern England.
    (2) Rachel lives in the southern part of England.
    ...
    Is there any difference in connotation/meaning between #1 and #2?
    This is pretty much a simple latitude question (yes, it is simply about north being at higher latitude than south) with no intimation that anyone needed to know anything beyond where "northern" and "southern" parts of a country are. The post was about a logical/geographical interpretation of the southern and northern - with some characteristics being used in example sentences ONLY to illustrate the N/S concept. Sorry if you were somehow offended (by thinking I was expecting you to know anything about Japan, but I suspect you knew about the vowel differences:))
     

    homotopy07

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    'Southern/Northern England' is a very vague expression, as is the southern/ northern part of England.
    These are valid phrases, up to a point. They might have a definition if we are talking about a weather forecast, but I really don't know where, officially, 'southern' starts or 'northern' begins.
    Thanks, Hermione. :)

    The terms are clearly vague ...
    Thanks, Julian. :) Please look at the following definition of the south:

    the south
    the southern part of a country or area
    the south | meaning of the south in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English | LDOCE

    Is this definition vague?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thanks, Hermione. :)


    Thanks, Julian. :) Please look at the following definition of the south:

    the south
    the southern part of a country or area
    the south | meaning of the south in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English | LDOCE

    Is this definition vague?
    Yes. The only way it could be other than vague would be with more specific terms such as "the southern 50% of the land area of X" or "the southern half of an area when divided by a latitude midway between the northernmost point and the southernmost point" etc. What is used may well depend on other factors there may be a well-defined or commonly referred to are in the middle "Central Kyushu" or , in England "The Midlands" etc. It's the word "part" that is vague :)
     
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