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Thread: Up = Down?

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    Administrator MasterAdmin's Avatar
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    Up = Down?

    Are these up/down sentences identical in meaning:

    We will drive four more miles up the highway.
    vs.
    We will drive four more miles down the highway.

    ... and another example:

    She lives two blocks up the street.
    vs.
    She lives two blocks down the street.
    ~ Мастерадминов Мастерадмин Мастерадминович ~

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    Re: Up = Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterAdmin
    Are these up/down sentences identical in meaning:

    We will drive four more miles up the highway.
    vs.
    We will drive four more miles down the highway.

    ... and another example:

    She lives two blocks up the street.
    vs.
    She lives two blocks down the street.
    For Americans, the meanings are essentially the same, in most places.

    But...

    In big cities, such as New York, that are laid out on a grid, with numbered streets (44th street, 43rd street, 42nd street, etc.)... then "up" implies going north, and "down" implies south, usually... or following the streets in sequence ("up" = 45, 46, 47, 48 +) ("down" = 48, 47, 46, 45 -)

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    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    Re: Up = Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dobry
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterAdmin
    Are these up/down sentences identical in meaning:

    We will drive four more miles up the highway.
    vs.
    We will drive four more miles down the highway.

    ... and another example:

    She lives two blocks up the street.
    vs.
    She lives two blocks down the street.
    For Americans, the meanings are essentially the same, in most places.

    But...

    In big cities, such as New York, that are laid out on a grid, with numbered streets (44th street, 43rd street, 42nd street, etc.)... then "up" implies going north, and "down" implies south, usually... or following the streets in sequence ("up" = 45, 46, 47, 48 +) ("down" = 48, 47, 46, 45 -)
    "For Americans, the meanings are essentially the same, in most places."
    Yes siree Billy-Bob. As for New York city... who gives the hoot 'bout them yankees
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

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    Eh. They're roughly equivalent. Sometimes you'll have someone who will become ornery with you:
    Two guys live in Chicago...
    "So did you go down to Detroit last week?"
    "What do you mean "down!?" Detroit is north of here!"

    That sort of thing. So yeah, you can squabble about it if you want, but in probably 90%+ cases people won't even notice what you said. It's just understood.
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    Re: Up = Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterAdmin
    Are these up/down sentences identical in meaning:

    We will drive four more miles up the highway.
    vs.
    We will drive four more miles down the highway.

    ... and another example:

    She lives two blocks up the street.
    vs.
    She lives two blocks down the street.
    I case of highway or street, it does not really matter: you can use either up or down
    It does matter on the large geographic scale: for example, if you are in the USA, you can say up in Canada but down in Mexico
    There are also such terms as downtown ( center on the city, business part of the city) and uptown (outskirts of the city, peripheral area).
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

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    Administrator MasterAdmin's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody!

    In the case with streets that are on a hill and go from a higher level to the lower level, I used to think that "up the street" was going in a direction where the street elevation becomes higher and "down the street" is just the opposite. But it looks like up/down does not relate to elevation here

    Also, nice info about downtown/uptown.
    ~ Мастерадминов Мастерадмин Мастерадминович ~

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    MA, I think you may have extrapolated a little too far. I myself would have a hard time using "down the street" if I were referring to something higher up on a sloping street.

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    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    MA, I think you may have extrapolated a little too far. I myself would have a hard time using "down the street" if I were referring to something higher up on a sloping street.
    Up the street or down the street can be used when there are no hills at all. But naturally, you would say up the hill or uphill (on the road) when you are going up, and down the hill or downhill, when you are going down.

    I did not think there were any questions about that
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlestonian
    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    MA, I think you may have extrapolated a little too far. I myself would have a hard time using "down the street" if I were referring to something higher up on a sloping street.
    Up the street or down the street can be used when there are no hills at all. But naturally, you would say up the hill or uphill (on the road) when you are going up, and down the hill or downhill, when you are going down.

    I did not think there were any questions about that
    Agreed... if everyone can make sense of that English explanation.

    Just joking with you Charlestonian... good explanation.

  10. #10
    Старший оракул
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    As far as I know, the meaning is connected with south/north directions. For example, if you say "down the street" it means to the south direction and up - otherwise.

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    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuvak
    As far as I know, the meaning is connected with south/north directions. For example, if you say "down the street" it means to the south direction and up - otherwise.
    You wrote: "As far as I know..." Well, you know it wrong. Like Dobry said, it may apply to New York streets but in other cities, it does not really matter: people will not try to figure out where is north or south, just to say up or down the street
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlestonian
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuvak
    As far as I know, the meaning is connected with south/north directions. For example, if you say "down the street" it means to the south direction and up - otherwise.
    You wrote: "As far as I know..." Well, you know it wrong. Like Dobry said, it may apply to New York streets but in other cities, it does not really matter: people will not try to figure out where is north or south, just to say up or down the street
    Yes.

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    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    As the matter of fact, it is frequently used not to show direction (north or south, west or east)) but rather, distance to something:

    It is just down/up the road (it is not far).
    It is way down/up the road (it is far).

    Vot takiye-to pirogi
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

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