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  1. #1
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Smile north of or to the north of

    Would you please tell me whether the following sentences are all correct?
    1. The zoo is to the north of the park.
    2. The zoo is north of the park.
    3. The zoo is a few miles to the north of the park.
    4. The zoo is a few miles north of the park.
    And is Sentence 4 more often used by native speakers than Sentence 3? In my view, Sentence 4 sounds more natural.
    Thanks.
    Richard

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: north of or to the north of

    They are all correct - "to the north" is a looser indication of location than "north of".

  3. #3
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: north of or to the north of

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    They are all correct - "to the north" is a looser indication of location than "north of".
    Actually this is a question my daughter asked me a moment ago. I am not sure whether native speakers say "The zoo is north of the park." To my understanding, if the actual distance is mentioned in the sentence, we usually say,for example, "The zoo is a few miles north of the zoo." instead of "The zoo is a few miles to the north of the zoo," though both are correct. And in my opinion, if there's no mention of the distance between the two places, we'd better say "The zoo is to the north of the park," rather than "The zoo is north of the park." As I was not sure of these assertions, I came here for help. I would like your further explanation if it is not too much trouble. Thanks a lot.
    Richard

  4. #4
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    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: north of or to the north of

    Richard, you're dealing with ellipsis here:

    Ex: The zoo is (a few miles) (to the) north of the park.

  5. #5
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: north of or to the north of

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Richard, you're dealing with ellipsis here:

    Ex: The zoo is (a few miles) (to the) north of the park.
    Now after your enlightening explanation, I think I've got a thorough understanding of this sentence structure. This website is really a great place to meet great people like you, who are ready to help. I admit learning English is no easy job. Oftentimes our dictionaries do not give us everything about a certain structure or idiom. And sometimes we teachers and students just do a lot of guessing, which is perhaps a dangerous practice. I got to know this website by accident about two months ago and I have now recommended it to my students.
    Thank you, Soup.

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    Default Re: north of or to the north of

    Where is Taronga Park Zoo? Do you know Manly Park? Well, it's next to Manly Park, up to(wards) the north end of the park."

    2. The zoo is north of the park.
    Where is Taronga Park Zoo? Do you know Manly Park? Well, go to Manly Park and the zoo is north of Manly Park.
    More precisely,(( 4. )) the zoo is a few miles north of the park.

    3. Manly Park is a good place to start exploring. South of the park you have the Aquarium, and to the west is the famous beach. And the zoo is a few miles to the north of the park, so you'll need to go by car. And east of the park is the village with some of the best seafood restaurants in Sydney!

    In bald casual speech terms, with little context, it would be, "The zoo is north of the park/ a few miles north of the park."
    Last edited by David L.; 23-Jun-2008 at 01:44.

  7. #7
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: north of or to the north of

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Where is Taronga Park Zoo? Do you know Manly Park? Well, it's next to Manly Park, up to(wards) the north end of the park."

    2. The zoo is north of the park.
    Where is Taronga Park Zoo? Do you know Manly Park? Well, go to Manly Park and the zoo is north of Manly Park.
    More precisely,(( 4. )) the zoo is a few miles north of the park.

    3. Manly Park is a good place to start exploring. South of the park you have the Aquarium, and to the west is the famous beach. And the zoo is a few miles to the north of the park, so you'll need to go by car. And east of the park is the village with some of the best seafood restaurants in Sydney!

    In bald casual speech terms, with little context, it would be, "The zoo is north of the park/ a few miles north of the park."
    Thanks, David.

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