I found this sentence:

He stopped for a moment, then walked across to the house.

I can't understand the meaning of "across" and the use of "to the".

The context: a man ("he") is hiding in the garden of a house and the owner of the house call him in whispering.

  • Note that this is from a very poorly-written "paraphrase" of a great work of English literature called War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. The original, and properly-written, sentence is : "Then he came over and across the lawn to the corner of the house." I highly recommend reading the real novel, which is available at no charge at Project Gutenberg. ( @Catija n.b.) – P. E. Dant Jul 26 '17 at 22:05
  • @P.E.Dant I'll certainly read the original. At the moment I'm still learning by listening to readed novels (so I can hear the right pronunciation). – genespos Jul 26 '17 at 22:09
  • If this is an example, the writing is very poor indeed. You can easily find a reading of the real novel, in its original version, and I encourage you to do so. – P. E. Dant Jul 26 '17 at 22:13
  • @P.E.Dant I'm not sure of it, but it's possible that the writing was simplified to make it easier to an English learner. Don't you think is so? – genespos Jul 26 '17 at 22:24
  • 1
    @P.E.Dant You have a great deal of knowledge and yet so rarely actually use it to answer a question... please, don't leave it all in comments, free for deletion at any time. – Catija Jul 27 '17 at 4:10

This is an acceptable sentence, when it says "across" it's leaving you to mentally insert what he walked across. So, the full version of the sentence would actually read something like:

He stopped for a moment, then walked across [the lawn/yard] to the house.

With this added detail, I hope it becomes clear what was occurring in this situation.

  • Note that Wells's original sentence made the action quite clear! – P. E. Dant Jul 26 '17 at 22:08

The preposition across functions to show the direction of a movement from one area (= garden) to another area (=house).

The preposition to is used to show or indicate the destination (of a verb). Its a short word that points to the destination. (sorry, that is not very technical, but I hope you understand)

The article the is used to refer to a specific place that both the speaker and listener are aware of. (or the house could be the only house in the area).

I hope that helps you.

Some help from The Ins and Outs of Prepositions by Jean Yates Ph.D.

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