Near or nearby – the difference

 Are “near” and “nearby” the same?

When we learn English we find words that seem to be the same in most situations ….. but not all.

When can we use “nearby”?

From eltpics' opn flickr

In the following examples near and nearby have the same meaning:

  • My sister lives near    (she lives a short distance from here)
  • My sister lives nearby    (she lives near to where we are now)

Nearby cannot be used as a preposition in this way:

  • The book is near the table  = correct
  • The book is nearby the table = incorrect

Only near can be used as a verb:

  • As the day of the exam neared the students got more nervous

Only near can be used as a comparative adjective:

  • My brother’s house is nearer to the park than mine.
  • The nearest shops are only 100 metres down the street

As an adjective nearby is used like this:

  • I work on Fifth Avenue and my brother works in a nearby office ….. which is the same as saying  “My brother works in an office near mine”

6 Responses to “Near or nearby – the difference”

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  1. Julia says:

    Always had trouble with that one. thanks for the examples

    • admin says:

      Thanks for your comments Julia. It’s important to have regular contact with the language so that you see and hear good examples of real English

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