Consider these sentences:

  1. The company's office is to the north of London.
  2. The company's office is in the north of London.
  3. The company's office is north of London.

As far as Grammar is concerned, I think all of them are valid. To show this, I just quote from the dictionaries:

  • "The Yorkshire Dales are twenty miles to the north of the city."
  • "there will be heavy wintry showers, particularly in the north."
  • "the town is twenty-five miles north of Newport."

Would you please tell me what is the difference between these sentences?

  • 2
    The main difference is this: In 2. The office IS in (within/inside) London. 1 and 3: The office is NOT in London.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 3, 2017 at 17:09
  • 2. The company's office is in north London.
    – Lambie
    Jul 3, 2017 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


To the north of X and north of X means that it lies beyond X on its northern side (or "above" X on a map oriented with North up). Some would infer that something which is "to the north of X" is not very distant from or relatively close to X, whereas a place "north of X" could be quite far from X.

In the north of X means that it lies in the northern part of X.

Edinburgh is north of Manchester.

Dundee is to the north of Edinburgh.

Durham is in the north of England.


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