I'm not quite sure about the use of preposition in the sentence below.

Should I write

A is located on the north of B


A is located in the north of B

  • 7
    It would be A is located to the north of B. – WS2 Mar 26 '16 at 12:29
  • 1
    @WS2 Surely more context is needed. Of the sentences I live in the north of the United States and I live to the north of the United States, only one is true for me, but both are grammatical. On doesn't make sense here. – Anonym Mar 26 '16 at 16:14
  • @Anonym I merely answered the OP's question. In means inside of. So if you live in the north of the United States, you live inside the northern part. To the north of, means outside but on the northern side of the United States. – WS2 Mar 26 '16 at 17:14

If you mean "A is farther north than B", then you don't need a preposition, but if you want to use one, then use to:

The USA is north of Mexico. Canada is even farther (to the) north.

If you mean "A is in the north part of B", then use northern (for large geographic areas):

The Yukon is in northern Canada.

For smaller areas, such as a public park:

The pond is north of the park. (It is outside the park.)
The pond is at the north end of the park. (It is inside the park.)

  • 1
    Your second construction only works for large geographical areas. If doesn't work if B is, say, a public park. – TonyK Sep 23 '16 at 13:51
  • @TonyK Thanks; that's a good point. I updated my answer. – Théophile Nov 23 '16 at 15:54

Is A within B?

If yes, you can use the latter, e.g. The Arctic [A] is in the north of Earth [B].

Otherwise, if A is not within B, you proceed as WS2 has suggested.

In no circumstance (that I can think of) would you use 'on', since you can't be 'on' north.

  • 3
    'The Arctic is in the north of Earth' sounds awful. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 26 '16 at 15:12
  • "The Arctic is in the north of Earth" does sound odd, but "Paris is in the north of France" doesn't sound as odd. – eques Jul 25 '16 at 12:34

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