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  • Now that I could see him close up, I saw that he was very attractive. (a stand-alone sentence extracted from the Longman dictionary)
  • Now that I could see him closely, I saw that he was very attractive. (Made up by me)

Would changing to closely change the meaning of the sentence?

Another example,

  • I feel intimidated whenever he comes close to me. (Made up by me)
  • I feel intimidated whenever he comes up close. (Made up by me) Again, is there anything special about up close as compared to close/closely?
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    Closely can refer to physical nearness (closely spaced), but with verbs of seeing such as look closely it usually implies watching something intently. Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 17:31

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To "look close up" is to get physically near to something when examining it. To "look closely" is to examine it very carefully. Not necessarily literally from a small distance. You could say, "I looked closely at the Moon."

The sentence, "Now that I could see him closely ..." is an unlikely thing for a fluent speaker to say. You might say "Now that I could see him close up ..." or "Now that I had examined him closely ..."

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  • Can you say "now that I could examine him closely" as well? Or would the perfect tense make more sense?
    – Ray
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 21:14
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    Yes, you could say that. Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 10:03

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