Beneath - Below or under.

Little man

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Dear teachers, I need your help again.

We use "below" and not "under" or "underneath" when one thing is not directly under another.
They camped a few hundred feet below the summit. "Under" or "Underneath" don't work here as far as I understand.
But what about "beneath"? To which group can we relate this word? To "below" or to "under/underneath"?

Best regards.
 

probus

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In my opinion "beneath" can fall into either camp, depending on context.

Under and underneath usually refer to physical location. Beneath can, but need not. For example: "A substrate of rocks lay immediately beneath the forest path." In that case, beneath is equivalent to under and underneath,.

On the other hand, beneath somebody's dignity, beneath contempt, and so on do not imply anything about physical location. Below may also be equivalent to beneath when physical location is not involved, for example: below the radar.
 
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Little man

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Ok, thank you. Let us discuss another example. I want to know only about physical location.
There is a village below a mountain. Implies that the village not directly under.
There is a village under a mountain. Implies that the village directly under.
There is a village underneath a mountain. Similar to "under", but give us more emphasis on location.
There is a village beneath a mountain. In this example "beneath" means "below" or "under"?
 

probus

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The first suggests to me a village in a valley overlooked by a mountain.

Without context, the last three leave me suspecting that the mountain has been excavated and the village is inside it.
 
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