Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 264
    #1

    down by the river

    Susie's family is poor and lives in a shabby old house down by the river.


    Hi,
    How should I take "down by the river" in the above? Does it mean "down (the street) by the river?" Thanks,

  2. Banned
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Feb 2016
    • Posts: 213
    #2

    Re: down by the river

    (not a teacher)
    I think it means that rivers are always located lower than the surrounding, because water never flows uphill.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 46,905
    #3

    Re: down by the river

    I can't speak for AmE, but BrE frequently uses "down" and "up" (and "over") when talking about location even if they don't make much sense logically.

    I have been known to say "My friend Sarah lives down near the station", even though the station is not located downhill from my house nor is it in a particularly low part of town.
    Some people in the East End of London, if they are going to visit the west of London (for shopping, perhaps), say "I'm going up West".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 13,606
    #4

    Re: down by the river

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    BrE frequently uses "down" and "up" (and "over") when talking about location even if they don't make much sense logically.
    Quite.

    In my youth (many years ago), some people would say that they were going 'up to London', presumably because London was somehow seen as 'higher' in importance than their current location. At the same time, however, many people who lived in Scotland or the north of England would say that they were going 'down to London' presumably because London was lower on the map of Britain. I said 'presumably' because there is often no logic in the use of these words, as ems noted.

    It is a fact of geography that rivers are usually in the lower part of any given area, so 'down by the river' may well be meant literally.

  5. Junior Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Egypt
      • Current Location:
      • Egypt

    • Join Date: Feb 2016
    • Posts: 79
    #5

    Re: down by the river

    In Arabic also, we say 'down' with the meaning of 'towards the center or the middle of the town'.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 10-Dec-2016 at 19:01. Reason: Correcting the punctuation.

  6. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 12,004
    #6

    Re: down by the river

    You can understand down by the river to mean "at a lower elevation, near the river" or "somewhere away from here, near the river." I write from experience, as I myself live down by the river (though safely above the flood plain, thank you).
    I am not a teacher.

  7. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 12,004
    #7

    Re: down by the river

    My wife and her family inhabit the top of a hill. Wherever they are, anyplace else is "down".
    I am not a teacher.

  8. Skrej's Avatar
    Key Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2015
    • Posts: 2,871
    #8

    Re: down by the river

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I myself live down by the river .
    But in a van?
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  9. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 12,004
    #9

    Re: down by the river

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    How'd you know?
    I am not a teacher.

Similar Threads

  1. [Essay] in the river
    By contiluo in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Nov-2015, 10:33
  2. the Acorn River was a nice, slow river
    By keannu in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21-Jun-2013, 07:48
  3. [General] wash into the river/be washed into the river
    By jiamajia in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 30-Jul-2010, 14:34
  4. up this river
    By IMPSX-UE in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2009, 16:20
  5. [General] River
    By nay nay in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Dec-2008, 22:18

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •