1

Round the corner means nearby. However, I have difficulty with understanding the sentence "Round the corner comes the postman". Inversion has happened.

  • 1
    We would not use round the corner to mean some thing is nearby if the thing was not around the corner. – user6951 Jun 21 '15 at 3:30
  • @pazzo , seems the free dictionary disagrees: "2. Nearby, a short distance away" – Stephie Jun 21 '15 at 9:15
  • Well @Stephie we could always take a poll of native speakers. – user6951 Jun 21 '15 at 9:29
  • 1
    @Juya This is similar to Here comes the bride. – Damkerng T. Jun 21 '15 at 10:33
2

Kudos for recognizing that "(a)round the corner" can mean "nearby".
But sometimes things are to be read without second meaning: The postman simply walks around the corner.

"Round the corner" is not figuratively (=nearby) but quite literally used in this example. It follows the same pattern as

He walks "down the stairs" or "through the door".

If you are unsure which meaning is correct, you will have to check the context.

  • Then what does "The postman comes around the corner" mean? – Juya Jun 21 '15 at 18:13
  • @Juya: like in this picture, only with a postman instead of a businessman. If without the inversion, your sentence would read: "The postman comes around the corner." – Stephie Jun 21 '15 at 18:24
  • thx a million! so come here means walk :) – Juya Jun 22 '15 at 19:29
  • 1
    @Juya In fact, I won't - I wouldn't want to mess around with copyrights. – Stephie Jun 22 '15 at 19:31
  • 1
    @Juya , comes = walks towards you. – Stephie Jun 22 '15 at 19:34
1

This is apparently from a book called Primary Education Volume 11 published in 1903 with lesson plans for elementary school children. A section on suggestions for February describes children making Valentine's Day cards for their classmates, which missives they seal in envelopes and give to a designated classmate to deliver, while they all sing

Round the corner comes the postman,
Whistling on his merry way,
While his happy smile is telling
He has jolly times today.

The tune is that of the popular song "Clementine." The first line means "The postman comes around the corner," but the word "round" is chosen over "around" and the ordinary Subject-Verb order ("the postman comes") is reversed to Verb-Subject ("comes the postman") to fit the meter.

  • then what does "The postman comes around the corner" mean? – Juya Jun 21 '15 at 18:10

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.