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  1. #1
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default comparing geographical positions

    Hello,

    I've faced some difficulties comparing geographical positions. For example, there're two cities, city A and city B. City A is a southern city. City B is a southern city too, and its position is closer to the Equator when compared to City A's position. How can I compare them?
    City B is further south than City A. ?

    We cannot build comparatives from 'southern', 'northern' etc, right?

    I'd be very grateful for help.

  2. #2
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: comparing geographical positions

    I'd use "farther south".

    If I heard that B is more southern than A, I would understand that there is a quality (probably cultural) that southern cities have, and this quality is more intense in B than in A.

  3. #3
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: comparing geographical positions

    Thanks, Birdeen's Call.
    I'd understand it in the same way. However, I need to compare their positions on a map..

  4. #4
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: comparing geographical positions

    I think the way you've expressed it (with the change to "farther," which is one of those points that I always mix up and I wouldn't have noticed anything amiss with "further") is fine.

    You can also say "B is to the south of A."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: comparing geographical positions

    Thank you.
    But... I was taught 'farther' and 'further' mean the same when talking about distance

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    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: comparing geographical positions

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Thank you.
    But... I was taught 'farther' and 'further' mean the same when talking about distance
    I don't think it's incorrect to use "further" in your sentence. But some people insist that a distinction should be made:

    farther - distance
    further - degree

    I try to follow this.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: comparing geographical positions

    And now that we're talking about it more, could "southern-ness" be considered a degree?

    If we were on a south-bound road, I would agree that B is farther on down the road than A. But we're not moving from a point to the north down to A and then farther down to B -- we're looking at a map and noting how southern it is.

    I'd say either one could be used, but I'm leaning back toward "further."

    (As you can see, native speakers struggle with this too, so don't worry if you have to look up the usage yourself. So do we!)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: comparing geographical positions

    Numbers from BYU corpora for (the?) queries: farther north|south|west|east and further north|south|west|east. (The symbol "|" means "or".)

    farther north|south|west|east

    COCA: 1088
    COHA: 1429
    TIME: 366
    BNC: 57 (!!!)

    further north|south|west|east
    COCA: 467
    COHA: 527
    TIME: 34
    BNC: 449

  9. #9
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    Default Re: comparing geographical positions

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I've faced some difficulties comparing geographical positions. For example, there're two cities, city A and city B. City A is a southern city. City B is a southern city too, and its position is closer to the Equator when compared to City A's position. How can I compare them?
    City B is further south than City A. ?

    We cannot build comparatives from 'southern', 'northern' etc, right?

    I'd be very grateful for help.
    You need to be more explicit when you describe something as a southern city.
    Both Sydney and Melbourne could be called southern cities. Sydney is closer to the equator, yet it's north of Melbourne! Figure.

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