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guys. I heard the sentence below in a American program and I confused a little bit.

Four hours north of San Francisco is a place called Ferndale.

Does it means "It takes 4 hours from north of San Francisco to Ferndale?" I don't understand "Four hours north of San Francisco" this part.

Thanks!

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    For better or for worse, in the US this is shorthand for four hours by car. Back in the day a fellow graduate student misjudged the distance described as ten minutes from here to mean ten minutes walk. By car is the default in the US and can thus be dropped. They are more specific, if they mean another method of transportation. Such as half an hour on a bus, a 15 minute bike ride et cetera May 30, 2016 at 6:55

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It means the place Ferndale is 4 hours away by driving from San Francisco in the north direction.

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    @julialee A slight nitpick. It doesn't necessarily have to mean that Ferndale is four hours north of San Francisco by car. Depending on the context it could be walking, biking or even flying. With no other context though "by car" is the most likely meaning.
    – DRF
    May 30, 2016 at 6:54

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