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    Difference between 'under', 'underneath' and 'beneath'

    What is the difference between 'under', 'underneath' and 'beneath'?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Re: Difference between 'under', 'underneath' and 'beneath'

    Under and below both mean lower than.

    If the lower thing is covered/hidden, we prefer under: (1) The suitcase is under the bed.
    If lower than = fewer/less than, we prefer under: (2) There were under 200 people in the audience.

    If one thing is not directly lower than another, we prefer below: (3) The sun sank below the horizon.
    With measurement perceived as vertical, we prefer below: (4) The temperature remained below zero for three months.

    Underneath is virtually the same as under, but only for physical uses. We could use underneath in #1, but not in the other examples.

    Thanks to Michael Swan, whose Practical English Usage (OUP) cleared this up for me some years ago.

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