It can be difficult to use “near” and “nearby” properly. I fix mistakes with these two words in TOEFL essays almost every day! Here’s a quick guide:
Those are the main usage notes that TOEFL essay writers need. Of course, a few more things are worth mentioning. They are:
- It is okay to use “near to” as a prepositional phrase. As in: “There is a beach near to my house.”
- To make matters more complicated, we often use “near” as an adverb to talk about where we do actions. As in: “We live near the beach.”
- For those keeping track at home, this is covered in Michael Swan’s book in entries 415 and 531. Maybe I’ll e-mail Swan and suggest a special “near vs nearby” entry in the “word problems” section. It is a common error.