As I was told we couldn't say:

1) Money isn't returned to here.

2) Money isn't returned towards here.

3) Money isn't returned within here.

We can only say:

Money isn't returned here

And it's a total confusion...

1) If you go to the casino, spend your money and start complaning, people will say:

"Money is not returned here"

It's like "within here".

2) If you will win some money and go away people will say:

Money that is won here and taken away is money which is not returned here"

It's like like "towards here", "to here", "in the direction of here".

In different words: to return something here you should be here yourself, you should be within here, on this very territory to return something here.

If you're not within this territory, you're not within here, then you return something to\towards here.

No? How should I distinguish them then if it's always just "here"

  • 2
    You want to use the forward slash / to separate alternatives, not the backslash \​. – snailplane Mar 3 '19 at 18:40
  • It's irrelevant and potentially confusing to include negation and the passive voice in your first example. Much simpler to just consider I arrived here, where no-one would ever include the prepositions to, towards, or within. Also bear in mind that if you "passivise" The money I won was returned [to the casino], this doesn't imply anything at all about who gave it back (you in person, remorseful at having won it by cheating, or perhaps someone who robbed you of your winnings, then gambled and lost it himself). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 3 '19 at 18:57

By and large, you don't use to with here or there.

Go to the house
Go there

Come to the party
Come here

The exception that springs to mind is in "from ... to ..." constructions:

I know how to get from the station to here
Can you tell me how to get from school to there?

Though both of those can be rewritten without the to, using the to is still okay in the examples above.

I know how to get here from the station
Can you tell me how to get there from school?

Here is usually your current location, though there are exceptions. If someone is pointing at locations on a map, they might say:

So, Bob is here, and Alice is here.

They would be pointing with each use of here, of course.

Whether you are currently in the location or not, it doesn't change what other words you use with here.

Towards here is fine, it's just that your example shouldn't use towards at all. Some instances where you might think that you should use towards here won't be idiomatic, and might instead be something like:

He's just coming this way.

(This way is an awkward one, because it can mean "towards here"/"in this direction", or "on this route", or "in this manner" - the latter being the source of the perennial joke about people told to "walk this way")

Within here isn't idiomatic; you would say in here, but again, not in the situation you describe. That just wants to be here.

In any of those situations, if you weren't at the location in question, you would either name the location (and potentially use in, to, at etc.) or use there.

Your use around money being returned is also not idiomatic, but that's not really towards the substance of this question.

| improve this answer | |

A few centuries ago, three different versions of this adverb were in use:

  • "hither" meant "to here",
  • "here" meant "at here",
  • "hence" meant "from here".

Similarly, there were three versions of "there":

  • "thither" meant "to there",
  • "there" meant "at there",
  • "thence" meant "from there"

and three versions of "where":

  • "whither" meant "to where",
  • "where" meant "at where",
  • "whence" meant "from where".

Over time, the first and third forms dropped. "Here" came to mean "hither" as well as "here"; "there" came to mean "thither" as well as "there", and "where" came to mean "whither" as well as "where". Instead of "hence", "thence", and "whence", people started saying "from here", "from there", and "from where". As a result, in modern English, when we want to say "to here", "to there", or "to where", we just say "here", "there", or "where".

If you're really bothered by the ambiguity of "here", I suppose you could say, "Money isn't returned hither." You would reduce your chances of being misunderstood, but people might think you're a time traveler from Shakespearean England.

(Note that "hence", "thence", and "whence" are still sometimes used, but rarely as locative adverbs.)

| improve this answer | |
  • I have been being (it's rare but still correct, I know) tortured by this matter for some years... I don't know of what size I should say "Thank You" to you. May I know Your name? I am feeling extra grateful to You! – Michael Azarenko Mar 4 '19 at 17:09

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