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Is it correct to say "So, you want to jump down from up here/there" as shown in the picture?

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Is it "I'm here" or "I'm there"? See also Are “in there” and “in here” incorrect? Jul 12, 2020 at 13:06
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica, no, because "from up" this the main part of the question, not "here/there"
    – Tom
    Jul 12, 2020 at 14:05
  • The word up is 100% optional in your example, even if you discard (also optional) preceding down. But if it's not a duplicate, this question looks to me like "proofreading" anyway. Jul 12, 2020 at 15:45
  • How can that be the main part of your question, Tom? The distinction between "here" and "there" has nothing to do with whatever preposition might govern it. Whether it's "here" on its own, "up here" or even "from up here", what matters is the perspective of the first person. Your diagram only includes the second person. "Jump down from up here" tells us that the first person speaker is on the platform -- that "here" is the same region for both speaker and listener. "Jump down from up there" tells us that the speaker is somewhere else, maybe somewhere close to the arrow's target. Jul 12, 2020 at 15:46
  • That is to say, if your question isn't about the difference between "here" and "there", then what is the question? Do you want to know whether the phrase "down from up there" is coherent? Do you want to know whether that's a reasonable modifier for the verb "jump"? I'm having trouble imagining any question that has "from up" as its main part. In fact, even though "down from up there" is a coherent phrase, "from up" isn't. Things like "down from" and "from up" don't work well independently. It's hard to see them as main parts of a question, since they aren't even parts of this sentence. Jul 12, 2020 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


Under a traditional analysis, we would regard "down" as a preposition when it has an object, and usually as an adverb when it doesn't.  That is to say, it was called an adverb in the phrase "go down", but a preposition in the phrase "go down the hill".

Under a more modern analysis, we can regard "down" as a preposition even when it doesn't have an object.  Instead of sometimes calling it a preposition, sometimes an adverb, and maybe sometimes a particle or something else, we can simply say that sometimes it is a transitive preposition, and sometimes an intransitive preposition.  It's a preposition that works with or without an object.

From that perspective, "down", "from", "up", and "there" are all prepositions.  The preposition "from" is strictly transitive, the preposition "there" is strictly intransitive, and the prepositions "up" and "down" can be either.

We can regard "jump down from up there" as a structure with prepositional phrases inside other prepositional phrases.

The phrase "jump down" works.
The phrase "jump there" works.
The phrase "jump down there" works.
The phrase "jump from there" works.
The phrase "jump down from there" works.
The phrases "jump up" and "jump up there" work.
The phrase "jump down from up there" works.

Different frameworks yield different analyses of these phrases.  There might be no clear and simple answer to which embedded phrases are acting as arguments and which as adjuncts.

What is clear is that not every possible combination works.

The phrase "jump down from" fails.  We can explain this failure by saying that "from" does not work as an intransitive preposition.  A required argument is missing. 

The phrase "jump from up" fails.  This failure is harder to explain.  The "up" can work as an intransitive preposition.  The preposition "from" can take an intransitive preposition as its argument.

The problem here is that "from" needs something like a location as its argument.  The phrase "from there" works because "there" is locative.  The phrase "up here" represents a location, but the intransitive "up" merely represents a direction.  On its own, it doesn't make a suitable argument for "from".

  • can I explain it more simply like this? "down" is an adverb because it can stand alone, for example, "jump down". "from up here" is an adverbial phrase that was created by the preposition "from" followed by the noun "up here" in which "up" is an adjective which modifies "here".
    – Tom
    Jul 14, 2020 at 15:04
  • 1
    That's close. Under a traditional analysis, "down" can be an adverb on its own, "from up here" is a prepositional phrase with an adverbial function in that sentence (so, yes, an adverbial prepositional phrase), and "from up" is a compound preposition, as are "because of", "as of", "up to", and so on. If we look at "up here" as a phrase by itself, the "up" is more likely a preposition rather than an adjective, but we do have to treat "up" as an adjective in other phrases -- for example, the book title Down the Up Staircase uses an adjective "up". Jul 14, 2020 at 15:52
  • Suppose that the platform is very high to the ground. How would you express it, for example, "jump high down from up here" or "jump down high from up here" or "jump down from high up here"?
    – Tom
    Jul 15, 2020 at 8:51
  • 1
    The coherent phrasing is "high up here". The meanings of "jump high" and "jump down" are in conflict, so "jump high down" and "jump down high" don't work. The phrasing "jump down from high up here" is sensible. The phrasing "jump down from way up here" is a more natural word choice (at least in my dialect). Also, "high to the ground" doesn't make much sense. "high from the ground" is better, and "high above the ground" is natural, common and idiomatic. Jul 15, 2020 at 14:18

Yes, it would be correct. The choice of "here/there" depends on the position of the speaker relative to that of the jumper.

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