Commonly confused prepositions part 2

Across and over can both be used to mean ‘on the other side of a line / road / bridge etc’.

  • There is a hospital across / over the border. (= There is a hospital on the other side of the border.)
  • His shop is across / over the road. (= His shop is on the other side of the road.)

Across and over can also be used to talk about movement to the other side of a line / road etc.

  • He jumped across / over the stream.

We prefer over when we say ‘on/to the other side of something high’.

  • He climbed over the wall. (NOT He climbed across the wall.)

We prefer across when we say ‘on / to the other side of something flat’.

  • We swam across the river. (NOT We swam over the river.)


The preposition along is used with nouns that refer to things with a long thin shape. Examples are: road, river, corridor, line

  • She ran along the road.
  • There are trees along the riverside.

Along and through

To talk about periods or activities, we prefer through.

  • She was silent all through the journey. (NOT She was silent all along the journey.)

Note that along can also be used as an adverb particle.

  • Come along. (= Come with me.)
  • Run along now. (= Go away.)