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Considering these sentences:

  1. The area stretching from Boston down to Baltimore is prone to storms.
  2. The area from Boston down to Baltimore is prone to storms.

  3. The east coast area stretching down to Baltimore is prone to storms.

  4. The east coast area down to Baltimore is prone to storms.

Is sentence 2, obtained from sentence 1 by deleting "stretching", okay?

Is sentence 4, obtained from sentence 2 by deleting "stretching", okay?

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  • 1
    I don't really understand this question - "the area from Boston to Baltimore" is perfectly ordinary English, that isn't in any meaningful sense "obtained" by "deleting" stretching or down. Those are just a couple of elements that could be introduced (as could, for example, all the way in either position). Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 15:57

5 Answers 5

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  1. From...to is fine when you specify both "from" and "to", as you have done in sentence 2.
  2. When you do not specify a "from", as in sentence 3 or 4,

The east coast area all the way down to Baltimore

sounds marginally better.

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  • Can I get a comment from the down-voter please?
    – Stark07
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 13:09
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Where is the from...to... pattern in sentence 3 and 4? :)

The transformation of sentence 2 from sentence 1 sounds okay and it conveys the message that The area between Boston and Baltimore is prone to hit by storms.

Nevertheless, the sentence 4 without the word 'stretching' appears to me that Baltimore is the place showing the address of east cost area. Something like Where the east cost area is? Down to Baltimore!

I agree that putting commas make the sentence a bit more clear in this context (The east cost area, down to Baltimore, is prone to storms) but then I've read several structures without using commas. For instance, "His shop down to Wall Street is quite far."

So, to answer your question, let the third sentence as it is. It'll keep all confusion at bay.

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This seems to be more of an idiomatic usage question, so I'll answer this from the perspective of a native U.S. English speaker.

Your question asks if these sentences are okay. In everyday spoken English, all 4 sentences are okay and would be understood by most people. However, the only grammatically correct sentences are sentence 1 and sentence 3, so as an English learner, these are the only ones you should use:

  1. The area stretching from Boston down to Baltimore is prone to storms.
  2. The east coast area stretching down to Baltimore is prone to storms.

This is because, in the context of what you're trying to say, the word down is being used as an adverb. Adverbs are used to modify verbs, so if you want to use one you should have a verb (in this case, stretch) next to it. If you look up the word down in the dictionary and look at definitions for the adverb form, you will see that in every example sentence, down is being used with a verb.

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First of all, we use the phrase "down to" when referring to a "starting point" which is "higher" in degree than the "ending point".

In your example, you are referring to a "range" of places and the use of the word "stretching" here means "extending from".

Well, as I am not from the US of A and I do not know if Boston is "higher" than Baltimore, here are my words on this:

  1. The area stretching from Boston down to Baltimore is prone to storms.
  2. The area from Boston down to Baltimore is prone to storms.
  3. The east coast area stretching down to Baltimore is prone to storms.
  4. The east coast area down to Baltimore is prone to storms.

Is sentence 2, obtained from sentence 1 by deleting "stretching", okay?

  • This is okay as long as Boston is "higher".

Is sentence 4, obtained from sentence 2 by deleting "stretching", okay?

  • This is also correct as you are referring to the area extending from "east cost" to Baltimore. But remember to review the use of the word "down". It would be illogical to say "From the valley down to the top of the mountain".
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When you say something like "The east coast area down to Baltimore ...", you are implicitly including a "from" location.

In this case, the reader would probably assume you are referring to the northern border of the US, but a Canadian reader might assume you are referring to the northern end of Nova Scotia.

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