Through, across and along

What is the difference between through, along and across?

The English language sometimes has two words for something that is only one word in another language, through and across are examples.



is used to talk about movement in an area which is accepted to be 3-dimensional (it has height, width and length) examples are:

  • a room
  • a doorway
  • a forest
  • a school
  • a housing estate
  • the sea (including depth)


is used to talk about movement over a surface that is considered to be 2-dimensional (it only has length and width) examples are:

  • a table
  • a bed
  • a park (not considering trees as important)
  • a piece of paper
  • the surface of a lake


is used when we consider movement in a linear direction, we are only concerned with its length, examples are:

  • a path
  • a road
  • a tightrope


  • I often cycle through the park at the weekend, it has really great cycle tracks through the woods (we see the park as 3-dimensional, the trees give height)
  • I usually walk across the park on my way to work, it’s the quickest way.(we see the park as 2-dimensional, a surface)
  • John quietly walked along the corridor to his bedroom. He didn’t want to wake up the baby.

practise Through Across Along Exercise HERE


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