He walked through the room. (He enters, walks through and exits + we know he was out of the room at the start)

He walked across the room. (He walks from one side of the room to the other side, but still inside, doesn't go out of the room + we don't know if he was inside the room at the start?)

As far as I know, if you say "go or walk etc." "through something" that means you were outside that thing(at the start) then yo go inside that thing then exist.

Then I saw I sentences like this:

Walking through the city after dark is not a good idea, you might get mugged.

I have questions :

1- Is it correct to use "through" if you are still inside that thing? Although you are still inside the city, he used "through" in the example above.

2- When we use "go,walk through etc.", do I imply you have to go all the way to the end and exit? I mean does "walk through the city" mean start walking at one side of the city to the other side of it then exit ?

1 Answer 1


1- To "walk through the city" is usually a short way of saying "walk through the streets of the city". so it's correct to say that even if you remain inside the city. It is assumed that the city is large enough that you wouldn't have left it.
Example "I walked through the city from Trafalgar Square to St Paul's Cathedral"

2- No, strangely enough if you want to say you walked from one side of the city to the other you would say that you "walked across the city".
Example "I walked across the city from the North Gate to the South Gate"

It would appear that the meaning of these two words reverses when you move from an enclosed space, a room, to a larger, open area such as a city.

  • It is really strange that meaning of these prepositions reverse, depending on the size of the areas. Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 23:42

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