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Jane Mairs, Director of English language Learning Publishing
"Up the street" or "down the street"?
Tuesday October 2nd 2012
Question
"Up the street" or "down the street"?
Answer

Question

When is it correct to say "right up the street" and "right down the street "? - Jorge, United States

Answer

In many cases, the prepositional phrases "up the street" and "down the street" mean the same thing, and either one is appropriate.

If a friend called to ask you where the new movie theater was, you could answer either “It’s right up the street from the Japanese restaurant,” or “It’s just down the street from the Japanese restaurant,” and either way they would understand what you meant: It’s near the Japanese restaurant, on the same street.

However, here are some important factors to keep in mind:

  • “Down the street” is much more common than "up the street." According to one English language corpus (or large data set), people use the expression “down the street” five times more often than they use “up the street.”

 

  • In almost all cases, it’s correct to use “down the street.” However, if the street is on a hill, use “up the street” when talking about something that is further uphill, and “down the street” when it’s further downhill.

 

  • Many people recommend using “up the street” to mean, “the direction in which the house or building numbers are going up,” and using “down the street” to mean the other way.

 

  • Finally, in the expression "up and down the street" meaning "both ways," up always comes first.



 

More help with prepositions:

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