What is the difference in meaning between these examples ?

1-Don't follow women down dark alleys after dark.

2-Don't follow women down to dark alleys after dark.

3-Don't follow women to dark alleys after dark.

1 Answer 1


Example 1 is the natural phrasing.

Example 2 and 3, the meaning has changed. The scope of advice applies only until reaching a dark alley. Once you've gone to the dark alley and are inside it then you're beyond the context. Could be rephrased as "don't follow women to dark alleys - but once you get there and are in the dark alley it's ok to follow them".

In example 2, the "down" would be adding texture/emphasis and would occur only in spoken English.

  • What is the meaning of the "to" in the sentence 2, isn't it like the sentence 3 ? I think that "to" is still indicate that follow them until you reach a dark alley. Mar 18, 2019 at 12:47
  • yes! I got that wrong [fixed]
    – Reed Wade
    Mar 18, 2019 at 12:50
  • Thanks :) Could you explain the sentence 1 in more detail ? Is it mean that don't follow them along dark alleys or ıs there a different meaning in that sentence ? Mar 18, 2019 at 13:33
  • That's exactly the meaning. The trailing "after dark" is probably extra.
    – Reed Wade
    Mar 18, 2019 at 13:37

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