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"stand opposing each other" Options
Mullan
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 9:42:18 AM
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Location: Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Hi!

In the below sentence, is "stand opposing each other" used in the literal sense of standing opposite each other, or in a metaphorical sense of being two opposing parties in a court case? I'm confused and the wider context (it's from a book) doesn't help.

X and Y stand opposing each other in court.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 11:45:12 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Without ANY context, it's not definite.
However, "opposing" most commonly means "being opponents".
"Opposite" is most often used for simple spacial orientation.
"Stand" can also be "physically positioned on one's feet" OR "taking a stance".

"They stand opposing each other" would normally mean they are opponents.
"They stand opposite one another" would normally mean standing face-to-face.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Mullan
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 12:18:34 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/23/2011
Posts: 115
Neurons: 2,679
Location: Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
The thing is, the context allows for both options. X and Y indeed are opposing parties in the court case. But the sentence that follows ("They look each other in the face") made me think that maybe this is more about where they are standing in the courtroom.

Since you're saying that "opposing" usually means "being opponents", I guess this was the intended meaning.

I'm not sure but "in court" also made me think that this sentence isn't about literally standing somewhere. Because if it was about standing, it would be "in the courtroom", not "in court"? I don't know.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2019 1:06:33 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
I think that possibly the writer was being clever.

In many courtrooms, the defence have seats on one side and the prosecution on the other - so they could be standing opposite each other and taking a stance opposing each other.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Mullan
Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 3:57:09 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/23/2011
Posts: 115
Neurons: 2,679
Location: Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
It's possible. Too bad I can't think of a way to translate it into my native language and preserve the double meaning. Anxious

Anyway, thank you so much for help!
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