Hello, teachers!

In these sentences, are 'near' and 'close to' both natural?
If not, would you tell me the difference between near & close to, please?

1. Then I saw Tom come [near, close to] me and stare at me.
2. Come [near, close to] me and show me inside your bag.

Thank you very much.
No difference at all, that I can put my finger on, Ms. Jandi. Personally, I tend to think of 'near' as more formal, and I have my students remove 'close to' from essays. The main concern is not to confuse them, and use X'near to' or, worse, X'near from'!
Then Tom came up to me and stared at me.
Come (over) here and let me look in your bag.

You answered right away. You must have been sitting [near / close to] the phone. (both OK)
We're very pleased that our son and his wife found a home [near / close to] us. (both OK)
Stand [near / close to] the door so you can hear what's going on in his office. (both OK)
Two tickets, please. I'd like something [near / close to] the stage. (both OK)
The Smiths live in the same town as we do, but not very [near / close to] us. (both OK)
Martino's Pizza Palace? Do you mean the place [near / close to] City Hall? (both OK)

Emotional closeness:
I'm sorry to hear that your uncle died. Were you very close? (Only "close". Not "near".)
Sam feels close to his daughter, but not so much to his son. (Only "close". Not "near".)

"nearly" = "almost"
You gave a good answer, but it wasn't completely correct. It was nearly right, though. (Only "nearly". Not "closely".)

Emotion: geeked
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whats the different in meaning.close or close would it be close the door or close the door one of them means near amd the other close means shut.dont it.
close has two meanings. It's a verb meaning 'shut': Close the door = Shut the door.
And (with to) it's an adjective meaning 'near': Stand close to me = Stand near me.

Close means: very near (close race) or intimate (close friend)
You can't say "near friend"
Near means: closely related (near neighbors) or narrow margin ( a near victory)

It depends on the situation and the habit of people. Different regions can have different ways of using these. Another difference is how you have to phrase them. Let's go through the exams below so you can understand more.
I live near the school.
I live close to the school. ( close + to, not just close the hospital)

source: Difference between close and near
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You are so right. I have discovered that we are always close to those we love, those we miss, those we cherish....even we are not near them. We can be near people, and never ever be close to them.

Would it ever (different regions) be correct to say"I live near to the sea" ?

I would say 'No',

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