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  1. #11
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I have never found it necessary to 'explain away' any OED definition.
    Good, then, you acknowledge, with me and contra ems, that "opposite to" is grammatical, even in sentences like the OP's first example.
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  2. #12
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    No.

  3. #13
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    No.
    OK, then you must find the following excerpt from Quirk et al., concerning the optionality of to in that sense of opposite, to be rather inconvenient.

    "Opposite means 'facing' and has optional to:

    Her house is opposite (to) mine." (p. 680, emphasis mine)

    - Quirk, Randolph, et al. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. Longman, 1985.
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  4. #14
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    No.

    Quirk considers 'to' optional. I consider it redundant.

  5. #15
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    No.

    Quirk considers 'to' optional. I consider it redundant.
    Let's suppose it is redundant. Can you infer ungrammaticality from redundancy? If something in grammar is redundant, is it ipso facto ungrammatical?
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  6. #16
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    No, but then I didn't say it was. Your mentioning 286,000 hit for sat opposite to each other caused me to enter the thread to suggest that the number of Google hits for a phrase was no indication that all 286,00 were necessarily examples of acceptable English. I've just got 464,000 hits for ain't done nothing.

    I have just checked the BNC and COCA, rather more reliable than Google, for sat opposite me/you/him/her/us/them/each other. BYU gave 45 citations for the phrase without 'to' and 3 with it. Coca gave 75 without 'to' and 3 with it. I have to admit that I did not check each citation for its acceptability/grammaticality.

    It appears that prepositional 'opposite to' is used, but is far less common than the form without 'to'.

  7. #17
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It appears that prepositional 'opposite to' is used, but is far less common than the form without 'to'.
    Be the statistics as they may, the construction is clearly grammatical. Contradict me if you must, but why also buck the O.E.D. and Quirk et al.?
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  8. #18
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    Phaedrus, I am not contradicting you, I am not 'bucking' Quirk or the OED.

    jutfrank and emsr2d2 may have gone too for in calling prepositional 'opposite to' ungrammatical/wrong, but I think your 'the idea that "opposite to" is ungrammatical should be next to inconceivable' was a little OTT.

  9. #19
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Contradict me if you must, but why also buck the O.E.D. and Quirk et al.?
    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    . . . I am not contradicting you, I am not 'bucking' Quirk or the OED.


    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    . . . I think your 'the idea that "opposite to" is ungrammatical should be next to inconceivable' was a little OTT.
    It was perhaps overly enthusiastic of me to say that, but please understand that I don't even find "opposite to" unnatural, let alone ungrammatical; so, to me, ems's assertion that "[a]dding 'to' to all those sentences would make them ungrammatical" was likewise OTT.

    I'll concede that the to-less version seems a bit more popular. For example, "stationed opposite each other" beats "stationed opposite to each other" on Google 1470 to 659.
    Last edited by Phaedrus; 30-Apr-2021 at 09:57. Reason: I mixed up my "less" and "more."
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  10. #20
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    Re: We sat opposite (to) each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    For example, "stationed opposite each other" beats "stationed opposite to each other" on Google 1470 to 659.
    You really ought to stop using Google search for this kind of thing. It claimed to give me 644 results, though when I scrolled down I found only 34, nine of which were for The LXX. has φ υλακὴ κατέναντι φυλακῆς; the Vulgate custodia contra custodiam; implying that Hosah’s warders were stationed opposite to each othe., and fifteen forAnd the Philistines and Hebrews being at this time hotly engaged in war, as the armies were stationed opposite to each other, a certain man of the Philistines named Goliath, a man of marvelous size and strength, passing along the ranks of his countrymen, cast insults, in the fiercest terms, upon the enemy, and challenged any one to engage in single combat with him.

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