Difference between using in and up:
I live in London, but my relatives live up north, in Manchester
This sentence can also be written as:
I live in London, but my relatives live in north, in Manchester
Is using in here instead of up grammatically correct?
It sounds like when one use up north we are also giving extra information that north is up side, which may be redundant

  • This wouldn't make an answer on its own, but some of these 'directions' are idiomatic. In the UK, up north & down south; we don't really have similar 'directions' for east or west. I've heard the US use out west, back east, deep south. idk whether they use others too. Nov 8, 2023 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


I've never heard "in north" but "in the north".

Up north has a directional deictic aspect. North is relative to the speaker's location. The speaker's location is southerly.

In the north has a regional aspect. The speaker's location is not relevant.

  • The Bangles' song where they sing about going 'down to Liverpool' always sounded odd to me. Nov 8, 2023 at 13:46
  • Could someone in Birmingham say "I'm going down to Liverpool"? Nov 8, 2023 at 14:06
  • I doubt it, because Liverpool is further north than Birmingham. Nov 8, 2023 at 14:14
  • I was thinking of the seaside use of "down". Went down to the sea, went down the shore (i.e. from further inland). Nov 8, 2023 at 15:18
  • 1
    @TimR - a UB40 is an unemployment benefit form [as well as a band named after the same, from Birmingham.] The song is by Kimberley Rew [Katrina & the Waves] who grew up in Bristol & Cambridge… from where I'd still think of Liverpool as 'up'. Let's just call it artistic license;) Nov 8, 2023 at 15:48

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