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Jane Mairs, Director of English language Learning Publishing
opposite vs. across from
Tuesday January 10th 2012
Question
opposite vs. across from
Answer

Shohreh from Iran asked: What is the difference between opposite and across from?

 

Opposite and across from

The prepositions opposite and across from typically mean the same thing:  on the other side of (something or someone). In the sentences below, for example, either one of these two prepositions can be used, without a change in meaning.

  • She sat  across from / opposite  me at the table.
  • The restaurant is  across from / opposite  the high school.
  • We live  across from / opposite  a park.

However, there is a context in which the preposition opposite has a different meaning. In written or spoken language about plays or movies, opposite can mean “in a play or movie with (another actor)” as in this example:

  • She appears opposite Clint Eastwood in her latest movie.

Finally, be aware that unlike across from, opposite is not always a preposition. It often functions as an adjective or a noun, as in these examples:

  • The two boys lived on opposite sides of the street. (opposite is an adjective describing sides)
  • My two sisters are complete opposites.  (opposites is a plural noun)
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