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Suddenly, she saw a man near a bus stop. 'I can ask him the way.' she said to herself. Options
Maggie Q
Posted: Saturday, August 05, 2017 12:08:56 PM
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Joined: 5/15/2017
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Suddenly, she saw a man near a bus stop. 'I can ask him the way.' she said to herself.

Q 1: Suddenly, she saw a man near a bus stop. = All of a sudden, she noticed a man NEXT TO a bus stop. = All of a sudden, she noticed a man CLOSE TO a bus stop. ?

Q 2: 'I can ask him the way.' she said to herself. = 'I can ask him the way.' she TOLD herself. = 'I can ask him the way.' she THOUGHT. ?
NKM
Posted: Saturday, August 05, 2017 1:39:51 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 3,745
Neurons: 158,218
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Good! (I can't fault you for following my own recommendations.)

One very small quibble, though — and it's about a feeling, not about any flaw of grammar or logic.

"Near a bus stop" and "next to a bus stop" are merely saying where the man is, but "close to" somehow seems to make the bus stop itself more important. Maybe it's because "close to" seems to suggest a sense of purpose in the man's proximity to the bus stop, which is really immaterial to the meaning of the sentence.

We often use phrases like "close to success" and "close to achieving one's goal"; I think that's why I'm more comfortable with "near" or "next to" in your sentences.

Sarrriesfan
Posted: Sunday, August 06, 2017 2:51:51 AM

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Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 622
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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
NKM wrote:
Good! (I can't fault you for following my own recommendations.)

One very small quibble, though — and it's about a feeling, not about any flaw of grammar or logic.

"Near a bus stop" and "next to a bus stop" are merely saying where the man is, but "close to" somehow seems to make the bus stop itself more important. Maybe it's because "close to" seems to suggest a sense of purpose in the man's proximity to the bus stop, which is really immaterial to the meaning of the sentence.

We often use phrases like "close to success" and "close to achieving one's goal"; I think that's why I'm more comfortable with "near" or "next to" in your sentences.



I would have to say that for me it's different " near a bus stop" and "close to a bus stop" just mean the man is in the vague vicinity of a bus stop. "Next to a bus stop" is more purposeful to me, he is standing there waiting.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
NKM
Posted: Sunday, August 06, 2017 5:40:53 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 3,745
Neurons: 158,218
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Sarrriesfan wrote:

I would have to say that for me it's different " near a bus stop" and "close to a bus stop" just mean the man is in the vague vicinity of a bus stop. "Next to a bus stop" is more purposeful to me, he is standing there waiting.

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To me, "near" implies that he's in the vicinity of the bus stop; "close to" is closer than that ("in the immediate vicinity"), and "next to" suggests that he's within a step or two of it.

That said, I stand by my inference that "close to" has at least a vague connotation of purpose. However, as I've said, that's just my own feeling about it, and not something I'd try to impose on other people.

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