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Hi,

Can someone tell me the difference between:
Under, Underneath and Beneath.

TIA
Phillip
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Hi Phillip, welcome to the forums!

Ok, not a dictionary definition, this from my "English speaking" head!:

Underneath is less used than under (simply a shorter version)

Basically they're all the same word, under is just a shorter version of underneath (through years of the language changing with use) Under is probably a little more flexible, so safest to use. While beneath is still a great word, it can sound out-of-place is CERTAIN sentences:

I'm beneath the bed. (odd, like you're using old words deliberately?) I'm under/underneath the bed. (ok)

“Beneath the supermarket” would sound a little strange too.

It’s now the caviar of the three, slightly more up-market, so use it with care and it’ll be great; don’t just spread it around!
beneath can also mean unworthy, undignified... two examples: 1) a king cannot marry a commoner, that would be beneath him 2) i will NOT wash dishes for it is a task that is beneath me
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
This is what I say to my students:

Beneath: It's safer to keep it for abstract meanings. like in she married beneath him.

bellow is used to indicate a space between the two surfaces. They live bellow us

under is used to indicate contact ; He put the letter under his pillow; it's used in a general way, and it has got some other meanings.

Underneath- indicates a contiguous relation, it's a perfect synonym for under. It can be an adverb and a noun in addition to a preposition. when it's an adverb is more common than under. She's is still underneath.
QUOTE: bellow is used to indicate a space between the two surfaces. They live bellow us

Allow me to correct you. "Bellow" means to shout very loudly.
The word you miscopied is "below".

It's a common mistake, but I still can't understand why people confuse the two.
We had similar discussions in the past. Look Under/below, Under, What's the difference?, and 'Below the belt' and 'Under the belt'.

paco
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Thanks for posting those links, Paco - I knew we had discussed this before, but was not sure how to find the earlier posts and put in links.


It's a common mistake, but I still can't understand why people confuse the two.

I also can't understand why Americans confuse "choose" with "chose" and why Britishers refer to Australia as "down under".

But Australia IS down under!
It's on the opposite side of the Earth from the UK (give or take a few thousand miles). Everyone walks upside down. Well known fact. And they call us "pommies" because we go red as a pomegranate in the sun.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
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