Let's say you are on the side of a river and you want to:

Swim across to the other side of the river.


Swim across the other side of the river.

Should you include to? Meaning as towards but there is already across

  • 3
    Use Swim across the river, or Swim to the other side, or Swim across to the other side. I'd interpret Swim across the other side as meaning you swam along the coast opposite the other side. – user3395 Jun 17 '18 at 14:49
  • There are times when one might say swim across to the other side. But usually, one need not be so emphatic and one would say; swim across the river. – Lambie Jun 17 '18 at 15:40
  • It's a bit redundant - "across" means "from one side to the other". – NotThatGuy Jun 17 '18 at 18:29

Swim across the river.
Swim [across] to the other side of the river.

Swim along the lake.
Swim [along] to the other end of the lake.

In the first sentences, 'across' and 'along' are essential. In the second sentences, they are not.

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  • Yes, but it's funny isn't it: Run along the lake. You are not in the lake. Swim along the lake, you are. – Lambie Jun 17 '18 at 15:13
  • If I hear 'run along the lake' I might think of Jesus walking on the water. Run alongside the lake, run by the lake, run along the edge of the lake. If I heard 'run across the river', I would assume a bridge rather than a miracle. – Michael Harvey Jun 17 '18 at 15:15
  • So swim along the lake (I am in the water) and run along the lake (I am on the shore) are not the same except for one being in the lake and the other being out of the lake? Hmm. I don't think of walking on water at all..... – Lambie Jun 17 '18 at 15:21
  • I guess you could drive or fly along the lake. I think common sense would tell the listener or reader whether the journey was on the water, the land adjacent, or the air above. – Michael Harvey Jun 17 '18 at 15:27
  • I was pointing it out because it is funny, not for any other reason. But humor around here is often not the plat du jour. – Lambie Jun 17 '18 at 15:38

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