the last/next but one/two etc. [AE]

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Gergedan Cemil

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello everyone,
In AE, can I say, for instance, 'Look at the next building but three' if I want someone to look at the next fourth building? If it is unusual, is it okay to say 'Look at the next fourth building'? And is it also okay to say 'Look at the previous fourth building' if the building is behind the person who I'm talking to?
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Can you explain what you mean by "the next fourth building" and "the previous fourth building?" Please give us some context.
     

    Gergedan Cemil

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Okay. As for the 'the next fourth building', let's say there is a series of buildings in a street in which I'm walking with someone, and I want them to look at the building that is four buildings away from us. And regarding the 'the previous fourth building', say the building is still four buildings away from us, but this time the person who I'm talking to has his back turned on the building, which is to say they don't see the building. Does that make sense?
     
    Last edited:

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    No, we don't use sentences like that. If we are talking about a series of buildings in front of us we would tell the person to look at "the fourth building down", meaning down, i.e. along, the street from where we are - or - the fourth building over. The second way would be most likely if we are across the street and can see all the buildings equally well. "Look at the fourth building over from the corner." Or just: "Look at the fourth building from the corner."
     

    Gergedan Cemil

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Thanks for your helpful reply, kentix. Also, if the building is behind the person, should I say 'Look back at the fourth building down.'?
     
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