Frequently, when editing/reviewing SE posts, I see the following:

as you can see in the below image.

Now, to me, below image, just sounds wrong and I reverse the order, changing it to:

as you can see in the image below.

However, in my own posts, I will often write:

as the above image shows

en lieu of

as you can see in the image above

because it sounds, to me, to be a bit more in keeping with formal documentation. The phrase ... image above is, obviously, correct also, and sounds fine, just not so technical.


  • Why does above image sound ok, but below image does not?
  • Am I wrong, and the only one who thinks this sounds odd?
  • Why isn't the antonym of above (which is an adjective), not an adjective itself? It seems rather asymmetrical.


I hadn't realised that this had already been asked on SE ELU: Which is correct: “the below information” or “the information below”?. I should have checked, apologies


1 Answer 1


The below image and the above image are writing conventions used to refer to a figure in terms of its relative position in the text.

In the three-dimensional world of things, we say

Noise was coming from the apartment above.

You can put that book on the shelf below.

P.S. I suppose above and below would be so-called "small clauses" here.

  • 1
    I believe that you may have missed my point. I am not talking about spoken English, per se. As a technical writer, I would use the above image, but I would never use the below image. I would say it, however, if I was reviewing a technical document with a peer, face-to-face. Jun 13, 2017 at 15:32
  • That's just a stylistic preference, IMO. The below figure and the below diagram are quite well attested, even if "the below image" is not.
    – TimR
    Jun 13, 2017 at 15:51

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