Across

The word across is commonly used in the English language and it functions as both a preposition and an adverb. In this lesson, we will discover more.

How to Use "Across" in English?

'Across' functions as both a preposition and an adverb. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Across'

'Across' as a Preposition

One of the main functions of 'across' is a preposition. Below, we will uncover all about it:

Use

'Across' as a Preposition of Movement and Direction

'Across' can be a preposition of movement and direction. Look:

  • When we want to indicate that something/someone moves from one side to the other, we use 'across'. Take a look at the examples below:

The couple are walking across Stewart Street.

Ladies and gentlemen, we will be flying across the Pacific Ocean in two hours.

  • When we want to point towards someone/something, we can use 'across'. Look:

There's mom! Don't you wanna go across and say hi to her, Anna?

I can see the 'No Entry' sign across the cave.

  • When we want to indicate that something stretches from one side to the other. Take a look:

This is the only bridge across this river.

Laura can see a crack across the asphalt.

'Across' as a Preposition of Place

We can also use 'across' as a preposition of place. Look:

  • When something/someone is located on the opposite of another. Look:

She was standing right across her aunt.

The reverend and his wife are now living across the street.

'Across' as a Preposition of Manner

Below, we are going to analyze how 'across' can be a preposition of manner. Look:

  • When we want to state that something covers all parts of another. Take a quick look below:

Armed forces have been protecting people all across the country.

War has been declared across these seven nations.

  • We can also use 'across' to show how wide something is. Look:

The Tames river is 5 kilometers across.

Position in a Sentence

As you already know, prepositions come before nouns or noun phrases. Prepositional phrases can come in the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of sentences. Look:

The Gomez family are now living across the street.

I looked across the river.

'Across' as an Adverb

'Across' can also be an adverb. Look below for more clarification:

Use

'Across' as an Adverb of Movement and Direction

When we want to indicate something/someone is moving along something/someone else, we use 'across' as an adverb of movement and direction. Look below:

He walked across the bridge before committing suicide.

Let's swim across the lake.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'across' in an adverb here, it mainly comes after verbs or other adverbs to modify them. Look:

I stared across at my ex.

They walked across talking.

Idioms with 'Across'

We have some idioms and expressions with 'across'. We will learn all about them below:

  • Come across: This one can be used when we find someone/something accidentally and also when we talk about how someone appears to be. Look:

As I was walking down the street, I came across a very old friend of mine, Celine.

Here, it means that he/she accidentally saw his/her friend.

Mary always comes across as a shy introvert.

Here, it is inferred that Mary always seems to be a shy introverted girl.

  • Cut across something: When we want to state that a group of people are influenced by something, we can use this expression. Take a look:

These ideologies cut across all political and national boundaries.

  • Run across something/someone: When we meet someone/someone accidentally, we can use this expression. Take a quick look:

Didn't you run across dad on your way home?

Selena ran across her kindergarten friends last week.

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