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Spatial Prepositions and Adverbs

by Sally Jennings

Using the graphic shown, a white box with colored boxes, the following prepositions and adverbs can describe the spatial positions of the boxes (preposition/adverb = synonym(s) - explanation):


about = approximate location, near - the red is located about the center of the white square.

above = over, higher than - the red is above the yellow. The brown is above the pink.

across = on the opposite side of - the green is across from the brown.

against = facing, touching - the red is against the yellow. The red and yellow are against each other.

alongside = along, beside - the pink is alongside the red and yellow.

amid, amidst = among, surrounded by a group - the red is amid the colors.

among, amongst = in a group, mixed in with - the red and yellow are among the colors shown.

apart = separate from - the black is apart from the other colors.

around = on all sides, surrounding - the colors are around the red.

at = in, on, near - the black, green, and brown are at the corners of the white box.

atop = on top of (touching) - the red is atop the yellow.

back = behind, to the rear of - the green is in the back of the group of red, blue, and green.

behind = in back of, to the rear of - the green is behind the blue. The blue is behind the red. The green is behind both the red and blue.

below = under, beneath, underneath - The yellow is below the red. The pink is below the brown.

beneath = under, below, covered by, underneath - the yellow is beneath the red. The pink is beneath the brown. The black is beneath the green. Part of the the green is beneath the blue. Part of the blue is beneath the red.

beside = next to, by the side of - the pink is beside the yellow and the red.

between = in the middle of three or more - the blue is between the red and the green. The red is between the black and the brown. The red and the blue are between the green and the pink.

by = beside, close to, near, nearby, next to, in the vicinity of - the pink is by the red. The yellow is by the pink. The yellow is by the red.

close to = near, by - the pink is close to the red. The red is close to the yellow.

far from = at a distance from - the black is far from the brown, but not far from the red.

here - colored squares are shown here on this web page. Colored circles are not shown here.

in = within, inside, contained by - the colors are in the white box.

in back of = behind - the green is in back of the blue. The blue is in back of the red.

in between = between two or more others - the blue is in between the red and green.

in front of = at the front - the red is in front of the blue. The blue is in front of the green.

in line with = aligned - the yellow is in line with the red. The red is in line with the blue and the green.

inside = within, contained by - the colored squares are inside the white square.

left, to the left of - the black and green are on the left of the white box. The black and green are to the left of the blue and red.

near = by, nearby, close to - the brown is near the red, but not near the black. The red is near the yellow.

nearby = near, close to, by - the red is in the middle of the white box, and the pink and brown are nearby the red.

off = not on, to be removed from, to be out of line with - the black is off from the other colors. The black is not lined up with the yellow, it is off.

on = on top of - the red rests on the blue. The red is on the yellow.

on top of = on (touching), resting on, stacked above - the red is on top of the yellow. The red is on top of the blue, which is on top of the green.

over = above, higher than, covering - the red is over the yellow. The red is over the blue. The blue is over the green.

right, to the right of - the blue and red are to the right of the black and green. The brown and pink are on the right of the white box.

to the side of = beside - the pink is to the side of the yellow and red.

together = with, at one place - the colored squares are together in the white box.

under = beneath, covered by, underneath - the yellow is under the red.

underneath = covered by, under, beneath - the blue is underneath the red. The green is underneath the blue. The green is underneath the blue and the red.

with = both, together - the yellow is in the white box with the other colored squares.

within = inside, contained by, enclosed by - the colored squares are within the white box.

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