Practice English Speaking&Listening with: English Prepositions: BELOW & UNDER

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Hey. Am I under the board or am I below the board, or am I both?

Okay, there we go.

Hey, everyone.

I'm Alex.

Thanks for clicking and welcome to this lesson on two very tricky prepositions, and those

are: "below" and "under".

So, we are going to look at the meanings of these prepositions and we're going to look

at some examples, some contexts so that you can better understand and more confidently

use them when you're talking about the physical position of something, or maybe not necessarily

even the physical position of something, but if you're measuring something, for example.

So, when I started the video, I asked: Am I below the board or am I under the board?

Well, it's actually both.

So, "below" and "under" can both simply mean lower than.

So: "Hey, where is the..." whatever it is.

-"Where's my mug?

Where's my cup?"

-"Oh, it's...

It's below the cabinet."

Or: "Oh, it's under the cabinet."


So, basically if the cabinet is up here and your mug is here, or here, or here, or here

- it's below the cabinet or it's under the cabinet, just lower than the cabinet.

Same with: "It's under the sink."


"It's under the sink" or "below the sink", it just means lower than.

All right?

And here I have Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service, those of you who watch anime and

know who Hayao Miyazaki is.

So, she is flying on a broom and she's flying over a city.

The city is under her.

The city is below her.

It's lower than her, because she's in the air.

Right? Okay.

And she might be, like, flying over clouds, so the clouds could be below her or under

her as well.

Next, let's look at "below".

Some... Two specific instances where you must use "below", so for example, not directly under.

So if something, like I said, is...

If you have something here like a shelf, and you have an object here, like this marker,

for example, the marker is not, you know, directly under the shelf, so we say it's below.

So, for example: "We stopped 100 meters below the top of the mountain."

If we're climbing the mountain and then we stop to take a break, maybe there's a cabin

where you can go in, have some hot chocolate, prepare to climb the rest of the mountain,

you can say: "Oh, we stopped 100 meters below the top of the mountain."

You're not under the mountain.


You're on the mountain, and you're below the top of it.

Next, for measurements.

Now, you must use "below" when you're talking about measurements.

So, for example: "It's 5 below 0."

So if you're talking about degrees Celsius, or...

Well, not in Fahrenheit.

Degrees Celsius, basically, you can say: "It's 5 below 0."

Not: "5 under 0.", "5 below 0."

Another example: "We are at 150 feet below sea level."

If you're talking about someone's scores in their class, you can say: "Her grades" or

"His grades are below average."

Or you can perform below expectations-right?-if you're measuring performance, for example.

Next, for "under", basically if anything is covered, it, you know...

You have to use "under".

So, for example: "The cat is under the bed."


So he's under the bed, he's covered.

Or with a blanket, for example, if a blanket is covering you, you are under the blanket.

I am wearing a t-shirt under my jacket, under my blazer.


Because the t-shirt is covered, so my t-shirt is under my jacket, under my blazer.

And finally: "under" can be used as a synonym for "less than".

So, for example: "He's under 18."

Under 18 years old.

He's less than 18 years old.

"There were under 5 people at the office today."

So, there were less than 5 people at the office today.

All right, so let's do some quick practice.

I have a grammar book.

I have a novel that I'm reading right here.

Where is the grammar book?

Well, my grammar book is under my novel.


Because it's touching directly, so it's directly under.


Now, where is my grammar book?

My grammar book is under the novel.

It's also below the novel, because it is lower than the novel.

All right?

So, just to give you another concrete example of how to use these two very tough prepositions.

So I don't want to complicate it, so I'll just repeat it one more time.

Lower than, "below" or "under".

Not directly under, use "below", like if you're climbing a mountain, for example.

For measurements, like you're talking about how cold it is, so temperature, how, you know,

sea level, anything related to measurements, use "below", "below", "below".

And for "under", lower than, like I said, "below" and "under" for both.

If it's covered with a blanket, for example, or you're wearing a jacket and you're covering

yourself, please use "under".

So, for example: In the wintertime in Canada, you know, if you wear a jacket and if you

wear a light jacket, one of your friends or family members might say: "Oh, you look like

you will be cold."

You can say: "Don't worry.

Don't worry.

I'm wearing five shirts under this." Okay?

So, if you're wearing a lot of layers, a lot of shirts, you can say: "I'm wearing four

layers under my jacket or under my shirt, so don't worry, I'm warm."

And finally, less than.

So, he's under 18, there were under 5 people at the office today.

Finally, if you want to test your understanding and make sure that you are more comfortable,

more confident using and understanding these prepositions, as always, check out the quiz


And while you're there don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, check me out on Facebook

on my fan page, and check me out on Twitter.

So, til next time, guys, thanks for clicking.

I'm going under the board, below the board, under, below, under, below.

The Description of English Prepositions: BELOW & UNDER