According to Merriam Webster, the word "below" can function as an attributive modifier. (I doubt, however, it is an adjective):

Below adjective
Definition of below (Entry 4 of 4)
: written or discussed lower on the same page or on a following page
the below list

The phrase sounds off to me. I always say "the list below" as in "you can find everything in the list below". The sentence "you can find everything in the below list" is understandable but will certainly strike me as unnatural.

This is also pointed out in CGEL (pp. 1555 -- 1556):

Unlike above, below has no special discourse-location use: it belongs only to the preposition category, so we have either the discussion below (location within this discourse) or the room below (ordinary spatial location), but not *the below discussion. [bold mine]

So the questions are:

i. Is Merriam-Webster wrong?
ii. If it is. Why can't we use "below" as an adjective?
iii. Is this just a matter or BrE vs AmE?


2 Answers 2


The below list isn't in any particular order.

The list below will help get you started.

Both the formats are correct.

It is just the a personal choice, agreeing with @JasonBassford, of one over the other.


Once is a mistake, twice is a coincidence, three times is a policy. As a native BrE speaker, I find 'the below list' grotesque to the point of illiteracy. The evidence, however, is that that word order is used and is therefore not incorrect. If you are tempted to use it, you may care to consider the feelings of those, like me, who find it very odd indeed.

  • 1
    I must disagree. I find it a bit unusual but not at all "grotesque " much less "illiterate", speking as a native AmE speaker who has read a lot of BrE. "The list below" seems a bit more natural, but "the below list" (by analogy with "the above list") is quite clear, and i have even written "below" in such a constriuction a few times, although not often. Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 22:28
  • @DavidSiegel I said that it was not incorrect. I think we agree about that. We disagree as a matter of taste about its linguistic beauty.
    – JeremyC
    Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 12:22

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