Hi, 1. They walked up the street. 2. They walked down the street. It doesn’t mean they were ascending or descending, does it? I thought, down the street was no different from along the street. What’s up the street, then? Could you please clarify their usage?
There are some idoms and quotes where the up/down direction is fixed:
'Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. '
'I love Raymond Chandler - he's right up my street.'
And sometimes a street has a clear slope; one would tend to go 'up the street to the castle'/'down the street to the waterfront'. On a flat street, one might also go 'up' to the end that's more busy/fashionable.
In many cases, though, up/down/along are interchangeable (I think...).
As a rule of thumb, in the US if you walk along the street and the addresses go higher (35 Main Street, 40 Main Street, 48 Main Street, etc), then you're walking "up" the street." If the addresses descend (30 Main, 24 Main, 20 Main), then you're walking "down" the street. It is also used in relation to your own physical position on the street. If you are giving someone directions from where you're standing, you'd say "it's three blocks up the street" if you wanted them to head north, and "three blocks down the street" if they needed to go south.
"Down the street" and "along the street" are always correct, though, and easily understood.
Thanks, Bob and Ouisch.
Yes, I only meant flat streets. As to north-south, it's about N.Y., isn't it (streets vs avenues)? Because a street can run east to west or in any direction.
I doubt everyone knows or cares where the quarters are. At least in Belarus nobody ever mentions them when explaining how to find some place in a city.