1

Classroom eleven was on the ground floor along the corridor leading off the Entrance Hall from the opposite side to the Great Hall.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Can anyone help me to understand the phrase "along the corridor leading off the Entrance Hall from the opposite side to the Great Hall"? I had a hard time picturing the location of Classroom eleven here.

  • 2
    [hard time picturing] – Lambie Mar 25 '19 at 19:11
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Unfortunately, the wording is ambiguous.

This is one possible interpretation:

  • Standing in the Entrance Hall, Classroom 11 is found down a corridor.
  • This corridor leads off the Entrance Hall in the opposite direction of the Great Hall.

|
|
|----Classroom 11
|
|
/ / / / / / / / / / / /
Entrance Hall
/ / / / / / / / / / / /
|
|
|
/ / / / / / / / /
Great Hall
/ / / / / / / / /


But there is another possible interpretation:

  • Down the corridor from the Entrance Hall is Classroom 11.
  • The corridor leading off the Entrance Hall to Classroom 11 is in the opposite direction of the Great Hall (from Classroom 11).

/ / / / / / / / /
Great Hall
/ / / / / / / / /
|
|
|----Classroom 11
|
|
/ / / / / / / / / / / /
Entrance Hall
/ / / / / / / / / / / /


Without further context, all we can really know is that there is a hallway connecting the Entrance Hall to Classroom 11.

It's not clear what (the corridor or the Great Hall) is opposite to what (Classroom 11 or the Entrance Hall).

| improve this answer | |
1

A corridor, as you probably know, is a passage within a building from which doors lead to various rooms.

When we describe a room's location from the corridor we might give a vague or specific description. Vague definitions are common as rooms are generally signposted so all you need to find a room is a general direction in which to traverse the corridor.

"Along the corridor" means that room is located some way down (from your relative perspective) the corridor. I would assume that it was not at the very end of the corridor (otherwise it would be customary to say so), neither would I assume it is one of the first rooms you would come to, given that you have to go some way along the corridor to reach it.

"On the ground floor" suggests that your starting point is either the foot of some stairs, an elevator or entrance. To reach the room you must go along the corridor until you reach the room.

Some common directional instructions might be:

Once you reach the corridor, the room is the first on the left.

The room is at the bottom of the corridor.

The room is the last on the right along the corridor.

| improve this answer | |
1

Imagine a corridor on the ground floor.
Being a passage / pathway, it starts from the opposite side to the Great Hall and leads to the Entrance Hall.
Along that corridor is a classroom.
That classroom is your room Eleven.

| improve this answer | |
  • How should we understand "starts from the opposite side to the Great Hall"? – dan Mar 25 '19 at 11:48
  • @dan from the opposite side to the Great Hall. – Bella Swan Mar 25 '19 at 12:02
  • Is it the same as "from the opposite side of the Great Hall"? – dan Mar 25 '19 at 13:59
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It is explained here, basically:

Entrance Hall

"The Entrance Hall, also known as the Front Hall,1 is located on the ground floor of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, with a wide marble staircase opposite the oak doors. Double doors to the right lead into the Great Hall[2] and, on the other side of the hall, Slughorn's Stairs lead to the Dungeon Corridor, and another door leads to the Classroom Eleven corridor. Other corridors accessed by the hall allow passage to the staffroom corridor."

You can work backwards here: You can see the Great Hall and the staircase in the picture. You can imagine straight ahead of the Great Hall that there is a corridor. That corridor leads off [starts at] the Entrance Hall. The corridor is opposite [or across from] the Great Hall. If you go down that corridor you will see Classroom eleven.

Sample: Classroom eleven was on the ground floor along the corridor leading off the Entrance Hall from the opposite side to the Great Hall.

The images are protected so you have to click on the link to get an idea of this.

The Brits say: the house opposite mine where AmE speakers would probably say: the house across the street from mine.

opposite in these contexts means: across from.

| improve this answer | |
1

I think your excerpt might not contain the correct text. My copy of the book has the sentence worded a bit differently:

Classroom eleven was situated in the ground-floor corridor leading off the entrance hall on the opposite side to the Great Hall.

This makes it somewhat easier to understand. The classroom is in a corridor. The corridor is on the ground floor ("ground-floor corridor"). The corridor leads off the entrance hall. The corridor is on one side of the entrance hall and the Great hall is on the other side of the entrance hall (opposite side to the Great Hall).

To understand this better, we can picture the entrance hall as a central room that leads to other areas all around it. If we go back to the first book we can see some descriptions that help here:

She pulled the door wide. The entrance hall was so big you could have fit the whole of the Dursleys' house in it. The stone walls were lit with flaming torches like the ones at Gringotts, the ceiling was too high to make out, and a magnificent marble staircase facing them led to the upper floors.

They followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor. Harry could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right – the rest of the school must already be here – but Professor McGonagall showed the first years into a small, empty chamber off the hall. They crowded in, standing rather closer together than they would usually have done, peering about nervously.

This passage tells us that the entrance hall has a staircase leading out of it, a Great Hall on the right (where the hundreds of voices are coming from) and another empty chamber. The empty chamber later seems to be opposite the Great Hall (i.e. on the other side of the entrance hall):

Feeling oddly as though his legs had turned to lead, Harry got into line behind a boy with sandy hair, with Ron behind him, and they walked out of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors into the Great Hall.

In the fourth book, there is a description of yet other areas branching off from the entrance hall, when they go find the kitchen:

She turned left at the bottom of the staircase and hurried toward the door through which Cedric Diggory had gone the night after the Goblet of Fire had regurgitated his and Harry's names. Harry had never been through here before. He and Ron followed Hermione down a flight of stone steps, but instead of ending up in a gloomy underground passage like the one that led to Snape's dungeon, they found themselves in a broad stone corridor, brightly lit with torches, and decorated with cheerful paintings that were mainly of food.

Thus, the corridor that leads to the Kitchen also starts from the entrance hall, and apparently on the same side as the Great Hall.

So getting back to the original excerpt, it seems to simply mean that the corridor branched off from the entrance hall, and it was on the other side of the entrance hall and not the side where the Great Hall was. Here is an illustration to help (not drawn to scale, and not perfectly accurate):

Illustration of entrance hall layout

Here you can see how he corridor with classroom eleven is opposite the Great Hall – it is on the other side of the entrance hall.

From some of the other comments, it seems like the confusing part might be the phrase "opposite side to". This can be replaced with "opposite side of" if that helps you understand it better.

Note that in your version of the excerpt it is possible (grammatically) to understand it in an entirely different manner. The phrase the corridor leading off the Entrance Hall from the opposite side to the Great Hall could be taken as describing the location of the corridor as extending from the opposite side to the Great Hall. I.e. "the opposite side" is one location and "the Great Hall" is another location and the corridor goes from one location to the other location. In this reading the word "to" would not be part of the phrase "the opposite side". However, this reading is untenable from what we know from other descriptions (e.g. that the Great Hall is described as being right off the entrance hall and not down a corridor).

| improve this answer | |
  • My Harry Potter book is probably the American edition. – dan Mar 26 '19 at 4:13
  • @dan The American edition published by Scholastic has the excerpt as I cited it. However, a Google search turns up results for both versions of the sentence, so there may be a discrepancy between different editions. In any case, I think it is easier to understand the version that I cited. Perhaps it was changed for this very reason? – Alex Mar 26 '19 at 4:21
  • The OP's text is on the Internet, fyi. Harry Potter Wiki. It isn't the actual book. ttps://harrypotter.fandom.com/wiki/Classroom_Eleven The US/UK thing here doesn't seem to be relevant. And my answer contains even more text from theHP Wiki. – Lambie Mar 26 '19 at 5:45

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