He was standing near to the TV. (distance is short.)

"Step back. Dont stand close to the TV."

Does it sound natural and grammatically correct?


2 Answers 2


Don't stand close to the TV is a natural sentence. You can even say, "Don't stand too close to the TV" if the distance is really short. If a person is sitting close to the TV you can change stand to sit.


Step back. Dont stand close to the TV.

It's an imperative sentence. And this is a completely grammatical sentence.

The verb - stand - can license a Preposition Phrase (PP) as a complement, and that can express the location/position of the subject. Here the PP is close to the TV, and the head Preposition is close; within this PP structure the head preposition takes another PP - to the TV - as complement.

In the nested PP - to the TV - the head preposition is to, and it takes a Noun Phrase (NP) - the TV - as complement.

N.B - The to in the PP close to something is a Preposition, not the infinitive marker, and that's why it's incorrect to use the base form of verb after that to.

They are very close to winning the game. [CORRECT]

They are very close to win the game. [INCORRECT]

  • This all looks completely correct. You'd probably know better than me, but I can't help thinking at least some non-native speakers might need a bit more help with your final point. Specifically, They are winning the game involves a straightforward BE + (continuous) verb participle, but in They are close to winning it's a gerund (i.e. - it's acting as a noun, not a verb, which is why it can be preceded by the preposition phrase close to). Commented May 18, 2017 at 16:47
  • @FumbleFingers I'm afraid to say that's not the case. Here winning in close to winning the game behaves the same way as the winning in after wining the game. This winning is not a noun, it is still the verb. One simple reason is a noun don't generally takes a NP as complement, but here winning takes a NP as a complement, much like a verb. Commented May 18, 2017 at 16:53
  • This involves fine distinctions between when is an -ing form a verb, and when is it a gerund noun?, which I'm not always clear on. I take your point that winning the game implies it's more "verby" than "nouny", but I think it's relevant to consider They are close to success (where we can substitute an alternative that's unquestionably a noun) and Winning is important (anything serving as the subject of a verb is probably best called a noun). Commented May 18, 2017 at 17:05
  • @FumbleFingers winning there at the start of a sentence is still a verb. Anything can be a subject, noun is not the only one. There is a distinction between word-form and lexeme. Winning is the word form of the lexeme - win. Generally it's lexeme that are grouped into word class (parts of speech). Commented May 18, 2017 at 17:18
  • @FumbleFingers once I wrote an answer regarding the distinction. It's here in this link: ell.stackexchange.com/a/94887/3463 Commented May 18, 2017 at 17:21

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