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He was going up over the high bridge.

In the above sentence I thought up might means "to the place where somebody/ something is, not 'towards a higher position' " and over might means "from one side to another side".

Then the sentence would mean: it was a high bridge, and he was going from one side to the other.

But the matter is that "up" seems to be redundant in this case, because it has the same meaning with "over".

What does the above sentence mean?

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  • Source of the quote, please.#
    – James K
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 19:40

1 Answer 1

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Yes, it is formally redundant: if the bridge is high, then going over it will entail going up.

But language is not logic. We often say things that are redundant, for different reasons: for clarity; for emphasis; for rhythm; for rhetorical effect.

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  • I am wondering if it has something to do with the shape of the bridge. A bridge with a flatter inverted U-shape (to allow for ferries or boats to pass) might make it appropriate to use "up" or "down" depending on which side of the center-line the car is on. This is just a guess.
    – AIQ
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 20:10
  • I can't think of any circumstances in which He was going down over the high bridge would be anything other than confusing.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 23:13

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