Unit 44 Place and direction

Main points

* This includes words like: `above’, `below’, `down’, `from’, `to’, `towards’and `up’.

* You normally use prepositional phrases to say where a person or thing is, or the direction they are moving in.

* You can also use adverbs and adverb phrases for place and direction.

* Many words are both prepositions and adverbs.

1 You use prepositions to talk about the place where someone or something is. Prepositions are always followed by a noun group, which is called the object of the preposition.

above, among, at, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, in, inside, near, on, opposite, outside, over, round, through, under, underneath

He stood near the door.
Two minutes later we were safely inside the taxi.

Note that some prepositions consist of more than one word.

in between, in front of, next to, on top of

There was a man standing in front of me.
The books were piled on top of each other.

2 You can also use prepositions to talk about the direction that someone or something is moving in, or the place that someone or something is moving towards.

acrossdownout ofthroughup
back toontoroundtowards

They dived into the water.
She turned and rushed out of the room.

3 Many prepositions can be used both for place and direction.
The bank is just across the High Street. (place)
I walked across the room. (direction)
We live in the house over the road. (place)
I stole his keys and escaped over the wall. (direction)

4 You can also use adverbs and adverb phrases for place and direction.


Sheila was here a moment ago.
Can’t you go upstairs and turn the bedroom light off?

Note that a few noun groups can also be used as adverbials of place or direction.
Steve lives next door at number 23.
I thought we went the other way last time.

5 Many words can be used as prepositions and as adverbs, with no difference in meaning. Remember that prepositions have noun groups as objects, but adverbs do not.
Did he fall down the stairs?
Please do sit down.
I looked underneath the bed, but the box had gone!
Always put a sheet of paper underneath.