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Dear all!

I'd like to know what the exact meaning of "north of" is.

If I see in the text to be translated:

"A little town set north of London",

does that mean that that town is NOT a part of London anymore, so it's located TO THE NORTH OF LONDON? Or does it mean that that town is kind of London suburb placed in the northern part of London?

Again, if it is a town, we can assume that it is still an independent town.

But in a sentence like this:

"A cafe located north of Parker Road...",

does it mean that the cafe is still IN the Parker Road (in its nothern part), or is that cafe in another road or drive, or whatsoever situated to the north of that Parker Road?

Thank you in advance!
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"North of" and "to the north of" are generally interchangeable.

We have towns and cities within the city limits of Los Angeles. Some are completely independent, and have their own city governments, police and fire departments, libraries, water, sewer, electric, etc. (eg., Glendale & Burbank). But most of them are not. Sunland is a little town set in the north of L.A. It's actually a good sized city, but does not have it's own government. It's part of L.A.
(Hollywood is part of L.A.; I believe West Hollywood is not, but it's located in the west of L.A.)
Santa Clarita is located [to the] north of L.A. It has nothing to do with L.A.

Roads and rivers are quite different. We may say that the city of Claremont, New Hampshire, is located on US Route 91, on the Connecticut River. It's neither in the road nor in the river. It's north of the town of Charlestown.

It would be unusual to say that the cafe is located north of Parker Road, and mean that it's actually directly on (beside) the road. If the cafe is located on / at a crossroads, we'd say "the cafe is located at the intersection of Elm street and Parker Road. "North of Parker Road" would be taken as some distance beyond Parker Road. Since cafes are usually on roads, we'd probably say, "The cafe is located on Elm Street, north of Parker Road." If it's quite close, we'd say "just north of Parker Road."

"A little town set north of London" would not be part of London. "A little town set in the north of London" would be, in my opinion.

"A little town set [to the] north of London" may share a border with London (though not being "within" the borders of London), or there may be another town between them. If you need to specify, you could say, "a little town on the northern border of London." There'd be some ambiguity as to whether it's inside or outside the border, but I believe most would say "outside."
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emci-emciDear all!

I'd like to know what the exact meaning of "north of" is.

If I see in the text to be translated:

"A little town set north of London",

does that mean that that town is NOT a part of London anymore, so it's located TO THE NORTH OF LONDON? Or does it mean that that town is kind of London suburb placed in the northern part of London?

A separate town, located to the north of London.

Again, if it is a town, we can assume that it is still an independent town.

But in a sentence like this:

"A cafe located north of Parker Road...",

does it mean that the cafe is still IN the Parker Road (in its nothern part), or is that cafe in another road or drive, or whatsoever situated to the north of that Parker Road?

In another road that is situated to the north of Parker Road. If it was in Parker Road we'd say '..at the northern end of Parker Road..'

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 Avangi's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thank you very much, Kate! Now I see.
Dear Avangi,

Thank you very much for your detailed and very precise reply!

I've taken very much from that, much beyond my humble question. Since I'm native Russian, I've got many problems with some special English phenomena, such as articles, prepositions (we have prepositions AND cases in Russian, so it's rather difficult to learn the English prepositions usage in all details), tenses, etc.

Well, again, thank you very much for this reply. It's lot of help!
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I really appreciate you for this great favor.

Thanks

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