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Hello Teachers,

1.She put a letter -------- her pillow.(under/below).

I think both are correct. What is your opinio?

2.The railway line runs ---------- the river and the road. (along/over).

are the both choices are correct?

Thanks.
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Comments  
1. I guess you could use both, but better options would be under/beneath. Below doesn't have the sense of immediately underneath (the letter was on the floor below the bed).

2. Depends. It is feasible, but it would be an unusual railway line that exactly follows the line of the river and the road, which is the meaning of along. Over means that it crosses over a river and a road, which is a normal thing for a railway line to do.
1.She put a letter -------- her pillow.(under/below).

I think both are correct. What is your opinioN?

JT: I'd say no to 'below', Hanuman. My feeling is that 'below' connotes more permanent or longer duration event, while 'under' denotes a shorter time event.

The plane flew under the clouds. = a quick swoop under the clouds.

The plane flew below the clouds. = for the entire flight or for a few hours.

I'll also suggest that 'below' often [always ??] has a feeling of "under but with no contact to the thing it is under".

2.The railway line runs ---------- the river and the road. (along/over).

are [the] both choices are correct?

Yes, both are correct. {No here with both. }
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Nona beat me to the punch but she and I seem to be in agreement on 'below'.
I would agree with Nona: 'under the pillow', 'over the river and road'.

'Below' suggests 'lower than'; I suggest that we would so rarely say that 'something' was 'below' a pillow, that it can be more or less discounted as a possibility. 'Under her pillow' is the correct idiom.

Similarly, I can conceive of circumstances in which a railway line would run along a road, for a while; but I think 'over' is the more usual option. As for the river – when someone invents a hydrorail, maybe. It would certainly be surprising if a railway line managed to run along both.

There could be some confusion with 'alongside'.

MrP
Similarly, I can conceive of circumstances in which a railway line would run along a road, for a while; but I think 'over' is the more usual option. As for the river – when someone invents a hydrorail, maybe. It would certainly be surprising if a railway line managed to run along both.

JT: In North America, both roads and railway lines often parallel a river for quite some distance. In steep canyons, there is little choice but to run along/alongside the river.
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Well, I'd probably use 'run by/alongside/beside' in those situations. With 'run along', I get a distinct impression of wet wheels; perhaps because a train 'runs along' a track.

But if people elsewhere would say 'run along the river', in such circumstances, fair enough.

MrP
The best explanation I have heard of the difference between "under" and "below", which I posted recently in a different thread, says that "under" means "in a lower position within a vertical stack," while "below" means "on a lower horizontal plane." If the two items are in contact, they occupy the same horizontal plane, so "below" does not work. However, things do not always have to be touching to use "under." The letter was under the pillow. The cat was under the bed. The cat was under the bed, directly below the pillow. In many cases,either could be used , with only a light variation in implication. (The plane flew under/below the clouds.)
I don't think duration really has much to do with it, although it seems to in your example. Maybe "the plane flew under the clouds" means that for a moment the plane happened to be directly under a cloud, while "the plane flew below the clouds" means that the cloud level was at 3,000 feet and the plane flew at 2,000 feet.
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I don't think duration really has much to do with it, although it seems to in your example. Maybe "the plane flew under the clouds" means that for a moment the plane happened to be directly under a cloud, while "the plane flew below the clouds" means that the cloud level was at 3,000 feet and the plane flew at 2,000 feet.
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JTT: Good point, khoff. I'm glad you brought that up. It seems that there are holes big enough to drive a semi thru. Back to the drawing board.

Let's try this, though I must admit, haven't tested this theory. In circumstances where either can be used, 'below' COULD indicate a longer period while 'under' denotes a shorter duration.
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