Suppose the part pointed out by red ellipse is the surface of the water.

I guess I can call the part pointed out by blue square "above" the water.

enter image description here

I can also call the part pointed out by red square "under" the water. Is it grammatical and idiomatic to say this part "beneath", "below" or "underneath" the water?

How about the surface of water?

"above" the surface of water

"under" the surface of water

"underneath" the surface of water

"beneath" the surface of water

"below" the surface of water

What prepositions could be used to describe the position relevant to water?

  • "underneath" means under or right under something or extending down under something. It can be a preposition or an adverb, in some cases even a noun.

  • "beneath" is a commoly a more formal word for underneath and may as well mean lower in relation to something, in our case "the surface of water". It can also be a preposition or an adverb.

  • "below" means under something or in the depth of something, extending underneath. It can also be a preposition or an adverb.

As for the difference between underwater and under water:

  • "underwater" is mostly an adjective, but is sometimes used as an adverb. It refers to something intended to be used under water.

  • "under water" is a prepositional phrase that means anywhere below the surface of water, covered in water.

For the red square we can say:

They are below or underneath (if we are in the boat). Or they are beneath the surface of water. They are under water.

  • 1
    Don't hurry accepting somebody's answer when it's the solely one there is. – SovereignSun Mar 10 '20 at 6:22
  • Thanks for your reminder, you are a great contributor. "if we are in the boat", does that mean, we are those guys in that boat, we could use "below" or "underneath" to describe the guys under water, right? – WXJ96163 Mar 10 '20 at 7:31
  • @WXJ96163 Absolutely. – SovereignSun Mar 10 '20 at 10:42
  • Thanks for you kindness. All "below, underneath, beneath" could be used with "the surface of water", right? "Under" could only be used with "water". Is my understanding right? – WXJ96163 Mar 10 '20 at 12:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.