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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Dec 2013
    • Posts: 11
    #1

    down

    Look at these sentences:
    Sandra's
    just gone down to the shops.


    I saw him down at the station this morning.

    Why is the word "down" used in these sentences even if the locations mentioned in these

    sentences are not situated somewhere below from a place?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • England
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      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,462
    #2

    Re: down

    I wouldn't use 'down' in those contexts unless they were situated at a lower level.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • England
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      • Czech Republic

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    #3

    Re: down

    Many English people do, at least informally. I don't know why.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: down

    There are many BrE speakers who wouldn't use it (Rover being one of them) but many who do. To be honest, it doesn't really mean anything! I don't know when it first appeared but in my lifetime, I have heard "I'm going down the shops", "He's gone down the pub" a lot. I use it too, especially with the pub reference. It is, I think, a particularly British phrase - "to go/be down the pub". You also find that people in the East End of London say "I'm going up west" to refer to going to the West End (or even the centre) of London.

    We use "up" and "down" to denote "North" and "South" sometimes. For example, I live on the south coast of the UK so I would say I'm going "up to London". My friends who live in Birmingham, for example, would say they were going "down to London".
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 25-Jan-2014 at 10:32.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
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    #5

    Re: down

    not a teacher

    "down to/at the shops/pub"
    This is very common in these parts and I use it myself.
    A related usage is: "The local football club is struggling, what's going on down there?" no matter where the club might be situated.

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