Near

The next word we are going to analyze together is 'near'. Let's see what we can get out of it.

How To Use "Near" in English

'Near' can have many functions in the English language. It can be an adverb, an adjective, a verb, and a preposition. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Near'

'Near' as a Preposition

As stated above, one of the main functions of 'near' is to be a preposition. Below, we are going to learn all about the different kinds of prepositions it can be:

Use

'Near' as a Preposition of Place

'Near' can mainly function as a preposition of place. Below, we are going to learn all about its different meanings:

  • When we want to show that something/someone is at a short distance form another, we use 'near':

Is there a gas station near here?

Could you please stand near this statue?

  • When we want to show that a number is just above, or just below another, or somehow close to it, we use 'near':

The price went from 40$ near to 80$.

The death rate has decreased from 16% near to 4%.

  • When something/someone is similar to another in size, shape, etc.:

This one looks nearer to what I have in mind.

As you can see, we can also use the comparative and the superlative form of 'near' when it is a preposition.

Anna's height comes near to Molly's.

  • When we want to show that we are close to a certain condition, we use 'near':

Last night, we literally came near to being strangled.

For a second, I thought Harry was near to screaming.

'Near' as a Preposition of Time

'Near' can also be a preposition of time. It is used to show a short period of time. Look at the following examples for more clarification:

My birthday is near to 4th of July.

I said I'm going on a trip near my birthday.

Position in a Sentence

As you know, prepositions come before nouns or noun phrases and modify them. However, in some cases, we have 'to' after 'near' like when comparing two things. Look at the following examples:

Could you come near me, please?

I think there's a drug store near here.

'Near' as an Adverb

Another function of 'near' is to be an adverb. Below, we are going to learn all about the various kinds of adverbs it can be:

Use

'Near' as an Adverb of Place

We use 'near' as an adverb of place. It shows the distance of something/someone. Look at the following examples:

I thought I heard shouting near.

Come nearer, wouldn't you?

'Near' as an Adverb of Time

When we want to indicate that the time of something is close, we use 'near' as an adverb of time to talk about it. Look at the examples below for more clarification:

The children are so excited that our trip is near.

I used to count the days when my birthday was near, but it all seems a long time ago.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'near' is an adverb here, it mainly comes after adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs and modifies them. Below, there are examples for you to examine them:

I told them to come nearer and they did as ordered.

Schools starting is drawing near and I really don't like it.

'Near' as an Adjective

As stated above, 'near' can also function as an adjective. Let us see the kind of adjective it is:

Use

'Near' as an Attributive Adjective

There are some cases in which 'near' as an attributive adjective can only come before a noun to modify it. Look at the list below:

  • When someone/something is close to a particular state, we use it:

Living in this country seems like a near impossibility.

I couldn't hear a bit. He was talking near a whisper.

  • When we want to show close family members, we use 'near':

I am throwing a party only for near relatives.

How rude of her to only invite her near relatives.

  • When something/someone comes next:

George was Martha's nearest opponent in this contest.

  • When we want to show time in the future, we use 'near':

A lot of people are worried about the economical situation of the society in the near future.

'Near' as a Predicative Adjective

Sometimes, 'near' can come after the verb and modify the noun. Let us learn more. Check out the following list:

  • When we want to show that two things/people are very similar to one another:

James Hetfield was the nearest to a professional vocalist and lead guitarist to him.

Warning!

Please note in some cases, 'near' can function as both an attributive and a predicative adjective. Look below:

The bank is near.

Here, it is a predicative adjective.

I asked her to give the address of the nearest police station to here.

As you can see, 'near' is an attributive adjective here.

Position in a Sentence

As mentioned above, when 'near' is a predictive adjective, it comes after the main verb and when it is an attributive adjective, it comes before the nouns. Look at the following examples:

I know you're tired but my house is very near.

The notice said that only her nearest relatives were allowed to attend the funeral.

'Near' as a Verb

Use

'Near' can also function as the main verb. It is used to show how close something/someone is. Let us examine the following examples:

Mom, we are nearing the alley.

I am getting more and more excited as the holidays are nearing.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'near' is the main verb here, it mainly comes after the subject. Look at the following examples:

We neared the mountain at night.

The Limousine is nearing Fleet Street, I believe.

Idioms and Expressions with 'Near'

We have several idioms with 'near'. Below, we are going to learn all about them:

  • Nowhere near: When we want to show that something is not close or similar to another in size, shape, distance, etc.:

I know several months have passed, yet I'm nowhere near the ending of the series.

Sally is nowhere near finishing her 6000-piece puzzle.

  • Near at hand: When something is close by and you can get it easily, you use this one:

I would like to have ashtray near at hand.

Jolene, do you have any cigarettes near at hand?

  • One's nearest and dearest: Close family memebers:

George and I finally decided to have our nearest and dearest over.

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