up & down

Soseki

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Hello,

1. Their farm is three miles up the road.
2. She lives two blocks up the street.
(from The Ins and Outs of Prepositions, Jean Yates, BARRONS)


3. Their farm is three miles down the road.
4. She lives two blocks down the street.

Are 1. and 2. different from 3. and 4. in meaning respectively?

Thank you
 
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Raymott

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Not necessarily. These terms are often subjective when used like this, though often there's some basis for it. If it's a sloping road, then up and down have their usual meanings. Sometimes up the street means toward the main village/town, and down means away from.
 

Skrej

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Also sometimes the compass points come into play - we often tend to refer to north as 'up', and south as 'down'. Also the houses with higher street numbers might be 'up', and those with lower street numbers 'down'.

On my family's farm, we've always referred to our neighbor as being 'up' the road running east/west, because we had to pass their place to get to the main paved highway. Similarly they always spoke of coming 'down' to our place.
 

GoesStation

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I live on a road which dead-ends at a river where there used to be a wooden covered bridge. In such a place, it's natural for "down the road" to mean ​towards the river.
 

Tdol

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There are no hard and fast rules- just copy the locals.
 
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