back of, in back of, behind

Use of back of and in back of to mean "behind" is widespread, but opinions differ as to their respectability. Each should be considered standard, but both are wordy and can safely be omitted in favor of behind: "The wheelbarrow is behind (back of or in back of) the barn." No one questions the reputability of in front of, although before is shorter and normally will serve as well.

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • back — ► NOUN 1) the rear surface of the human body from the shoulders to the hips. 2) the corresponding upper surface of an animal s body. 3) the side or part of something away from the viewer. 4) the side or part of an object that is not normally seen …   English terms dictionary

  • back — back1 W1S1 [bæk] adv ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(return to place)¦ 2¦(as before)¦ 3¦(previous place)¦ 4¦(backwards)¦ 5¦(reply/reaction)¦ 6¦(return something to somebody)¦ 7¦(in the past)¦ 8¦(again)¦ 9 sit/lie/lean back 10¦(away)¦ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • back — 1 adverb 1 RETURN in or into the place or position where someone or something was before: Freddie was supposed to be back at the hotel by six. | Put that book back where you found it! | We d better go back, she said regretfully. 2 AS BEFORE in or …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • back — back1 backless, adj. /bak/, n. 1. the rear part of the human body, extending from the neck to the lower end of the spine. 2. the part of the body of animals corresponding to the human back. 3. the rear portion of any part of the body: the back of …   Universalium

  • back — I adj., adv. 1) back to (things are back to normal) 2) way back (way back in the eighteenth century) 3) (misc.) to go back on one s promise/word ( to fail to keep one s promise ) II n. part of the body opposite to the front 1) to turn one s back… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • back — Synonyms and related words: a priori, a rebours, a reculons, abandon, abet, accented, acknowledgments, advance, advocate, affirm, afford support, aft, after, aftermost, afterpart, afterpiece, again, against the grain, ago, aid, alpenstock,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • back */*/*/ — I UK [bæk] / US adverb 1) a) in the direction that is behind you Don t look back, but there s a man following us. He asked us to move back a few yards. b) in a position where your back is leaning backwards lean/sit/lie back: She leant back in her …   English dictionary

  • behind — I. adverb or adjective Etymology: Middle English behinde, from Old English behindan, from be + hindan from behind; akin to Old English hinder behind more at hind Date: before 12th century 1. a. in the place or situation that is being or has been… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • back up — Synonyms and related words: act for, advance, affirm, afford support, answer for, appear for, ascend, attest, authenticate, back, back away, back off, backpedal, backtrack, backtrail, backwater, bear, bear out, bear up, bolster, bolster up, brace …   Moby Thesaurus

  • back — See: BACK OF or IN BACK OF, BEHIND ONE S BACK, BRUSH BACK, COME BACK, CUT BACK, DOUBLE BACK, DRAW BACK, DROP BACK. EYES IN THE BACK OF ONE S HEAD, FADE BACK, FALL BACK, FALL BACK ON, FLANKER BACK. FROM WAY BACK, GET BACK AT, GET ONE S BACK UP,… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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