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When something is near, it’s very close.  The distance, however, depends on the situation. Nearness is relative to the situation or the person who is judging a distance.  


The word “near” is usually used as a preposition, but it is possible to use it as an adjective and a verb, too. 

near = close

You can use “near” as a preposition. 

  • Thelma lives near the school. She can walk to it. 
  • Joe’s office is near the ocean. It takes him five minutes to drive there. 
  • If you are near a farm, you might be able to get fresh vegetables or eggs. 
  • Is there a grocery store near here? 
  • Don’t get too near the edge of a canyon. You might fall. 

nearby = close

You can use “nearby” as an adjective. 

  • Are there any good restaurants nearby? (The word “nearby” is an adjective.) 
  • A nearby bank will loan money to small businesses. 
  • I bought some flowers from a nearby florist. The florist is nearby. 
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The school that Thelma attends is near her house. 

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It makes life easier to live near a good grocery store. 

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A person shouldn’t get too near the edge of a canyon. It’s very dangerous to do that. 

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Click here to find more prepositions in English. 

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