a. The near future

b. The near house

Would you tell me which one is right?

As far as I know, instead of b, we must say: the close by/nearby house

Am I right?

3 Answers 3


Using "near house" here is wrong and the other sentence is correct. In both cases "near" is used as an adjective.

  1. In near future
    Here "near" = only a short time ahead

  2. Near - Located a short distance away.
    Example - The shop near the house is a small one.

But you can't say "the near house". You are correct to replace "near" with "nearby". If we say "the near house", we haven't provided any reference point to explain from what the house is "near".


Both possibilities are correct. Here are some examples of use for "the near house":

"In the picture, the far house on the corner was built by Henry Miner, and the near house, which has retained its original porch, was built by Horace Miner" (Early houses in Berlin, Wisconsin, and the people who lived in them - Lulubelle C. Gillett, 1976)

"The superstructure of the near house was completely demolished" (Pit and Quarry - Volume 45 - Page 165)

"A 16 by 16-foot office built of prefabricated panels has been added at one end of the near house" (Farm Business News - Volumes 39-40 - Page 51)

And here some examples for "the near future":

"We care more about the near future even in the special cases in which we cannot affect it"

"Russia simply does not have the economic means to redominate the entire Central Asia, at least in the near future" (Hooman Peimani - 1998)

"In the near future, billions of entities will be connected to each other through the Internet"

Although both, "the near future" and "the near house", are possible, not all of them are used with the same frequency.

A sequence of words that occur more often than expected by chance is called a collocation. You can find the collocations for the word "near" in a collocation dictionary.

By comparing how frequently these collocations are used, it is possible to understand why the other answers recommend the use of "the nearby house" over the "the near house".

  • Could you please tell me where from you got those example sentences for "near house"? And now I think "near house" is possible, but they are not so widely used now, that is very apparent from your Ngram graph, yet this Ngram is not to believe 100%. Actually that is what I don't do. Mar 26, 2014 at 2:20
  • 1
    I believe that the usage of 'near house' is comparative - there are likely two or more houses, and the 'near house' is the closest one, in contrast to 'the far house'. If there were only one house, I think 'near' would be incorrect. Mar 26, 2014 at 4:50
  • I also think so, but there is also some problem. If there are more than one house, why don't we say "nearest", instead of "near"? And I think "nearest" is the widespread usage in this case. I want to know the source of these quoted examples. Mar 26, 2014 at 4:59
  • @Man_From_India I've added one reference now. I will add the rest as soon as I find the time. Meanwhile I suggest to search for the quote in Google books. I think MrTheWalrus is right, all the examples of "the near house" I've quoted are comparative..
    – Nico
    Mar 26, 2014 at 7:05
  • @MrTheWalrus Man_From_India I don't think is "comparative" in the same sense as "nearer" and "further", but as MrTheWalrus explains in the sense of "former" and "latter".
    – Nico
    Mar 26, 2014 at 7:17

One definition of nearby is close by, so when referring to relative locations (in this case you and the house) nearby is the best choice.

Also, near can be used for future points in time, but nearby cannot.

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