When you learn a new language, your teachers will emphasize learning how to use nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjectives. They make up the meat of any statement or question, but we can’t forget about the small linking words that create relationships and provide context to our sentences. Without these small linking words we call “prepositions,” our sentences would lack meaning.
It’s correct to say “from across” in a sentence as “from” and “across” are two distinct prepositions. “From” implies location or a starting point, and “across” implies the other side of something or from one side to another. Often, we use preposition words separately, but sometimes we can use them together in a sentence.
In today’s lesson, we’ll cover how to use “from” and “across” separately and together in a sentence. Let’s start by learning more about prepositions.
Is “Across” a Preposition?
“Across” is a word that we can use as an adjective, adverb, or preposition. The form it takes depends on how you use it in a sentence.
Using the same word in many different contexts is a very common theme in English. However, we’ll focus on using “across” as a preposition for today’s purposes. In the example below, “across” works to indicate direction.
- She drove across the bridge.
In this sentence, we see that the woman drove her car from one side of the bridge to the other. She didn’t drive under or around the bridge — the direction she drove was across the bridge.
“From” as a Preposition
Our other word of the day, “from,” strictly functions as a preposition in English. As a preposition, we use “from” to indicate many things, like a divider or starting point (source).
|He wears a raincoat to protect himself from the rain.|
In this sentence, we use “from” as a divider. The raincoat separates the man and the rain, so the rain doesn’t dampen his clothes.
|He built his home from the ground up.|
In this sentence, we use “from” to show where the man began building. The ground is the starting point. He didn’t put the roof on first. Instead, he started on the ground and built up “from” there.
Now that we’ve seen “across” and “from” on their own, in what context can you use them together to form the phrase “from across”?
Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “From Across”?
It is grammatically correct, and there are many instances when it’s appropriate to use these two prepositions together in a sentence.
The practice of linking together “from” and “across” is an especially popular thing to do in American English. We often link these two prepositions together to serve a singular function in a sentence.
Let’s look at what “from across” means and how to use it properly.
What Does “From Across” Mean?
“From across” isn’t a person or an object. It’s a phrase containing two prepositions that we mainly use to indicate where someone or something is or was or to indicate that someone or something has a different place of origin.
Let’s break this down.
How Do You Use “From Across”?
There are several ways you can use the two prepositions “from” and “across” together. They usually belong side-by-side as part of a larger phrase that goes in the middle of a sentence.
You may have heard the following phrases:
- From across the pond
- From across the world
- From across the country
- From across the way
In What Context Can You Use “From Across”?
If you haven’t heard this idiom before, “from across the pond” usually refers to someone who hails from another country across a body of water. For example, Americans and British people use this phrase a lot to refer to each other as being from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
If you haven’t heard the phrase “from across the way,” people usually use “the way” as a reference to a street or to refer to someone or something that isn’t within arms reach but also isn’t too far away.
These are very common phrases in English. If you haven’t heard them yet, there’s no doubt you will and often. Of course, they aren’t the only ones, but they are the most popular.
“From Across the World”
Perhaps the most common phrase from the above list is “from across the world.” What does “from across the world” mean?
This idiom, like the others, references a group. Usually, people use it to reference a group of people. But, more than that, it works to link a group of people who normally are spread out by tying them to an event, cause, sport, or other activity.
For example, you might hear someone say, “People from across the world travel to watch their country’s athletes compete in the Olympics.” Or, “Music enthusiasts from across the world flock to the rock ‘n’ roll music festival every year.”
In both instances, we used the phrase “from across the world” to tie a seemingly unlinked group of people to a specific event and an activity.
Let’s look at more examples of using “from across” in a full sentence.
Using “From Across” in a Full Sentence
Here is how you use the above phrases in a full sentence:
- Nigel hails from across the pond.
- Athletes from across the world compete for gold at the Olympics.
- Music-lovers from across the country flock to the music festival.
- I heard her singing from across the way.
When Can You Use “From Across”?
In addition to the above sentences, here are some other common instances where you might use “from across” in a sentence:
When you’re trying to describe who is in attendance for an event or viewing party:
- Thousands of people from across the state attend the fair every year.
Categorizing participants in a survey or study:
- 85% of people surveyed from across the country said they’re excited for spring to come.
Describing where a noun is located in relation to another noun:
- You can see the gas station from across the street.
Showing the origin of an object:
- He threw the ball from across the field.
When Not to Use “From Across”
We don’t use the prepositions “from” and “across” together with each other all the time. Sometimes, we use these prepositions independently or with other prepositions to indicate different times, locations, and directions. “From across,” as an idiom, is somewhat limited, so let’s look at how we can use them separately.
What Can You Use Instead of “From Across”?
There are many instances when it’s more appropriate to use “from” and “across” separately. Using them separately works especially well for shorter sentences and when trying to be more specific about something.
Here are examples that use “from” on its own:
- I am from America.
- She got a phone call from her mother.
- He bought a new pair of shoes from the store.
- Their team won sponsorships from wealthy donors.
When we use “across” as a preposition in a sentence, we usually follow it with a noun. Here are examples using “across” on its own as a preposition:
- I live across the street.
- She drove across the bridge.
- He ran across the field to catch the ball.
- The team traveled across the country to play in the championship.
In each of these examples, we see the word “across” followed by “the” and then a noun.
“Across” as an Adverb and Adjective
If you recall from earlier, we don’t always use “across” as a preposition in a sentence since it can also function as an adverb or an adjective.
Here are a couple of examples:
|“Across” as an Adverb|
|The puddle was small enough to hop across.|
In this example, “across” functions to modify the verb “hop.” You can identify “across” as an adverb in a sentence because a noun won’t follow it.
|“Across” as an Adjective|
|He laid the tiles in an across pattern.|
In this example, the word “across” describes the type of pattern the man used when he laid the tile. English doesn’t use “across” as an adjective very often. It’s pretty uncommon to use it in conversation and writing.
Using “Across From”
You’ve probably seen someone use our phrase “from across” in reverse in the form, “across from.” However, they do not necessarily mean the same thing. We use “across from” and “from across” in different ways, and you should be able to distinguish between the two phrases.
“Across From” vs. “From Across”
As we learned, we mainly use “from across” to indicate where someone or something is or was or to indicate that someone or something has a different place of origin. It’s usually a broader statement about a group or a vast, more arbitrary location. We have plenty of “from across” examples above.
When we say “across from,” we specifically direct our attention to someone or something that is on the opposite side of someone or something else. We usually use it in a smaller, more localized context.
Consider the following examples:
Sentence: I always sit across from my sister at the dinner table.
Translation: I sit on the opposite side of the dinner table, facing my sister.
Sentence: The grocery store is across from the hardware store.
Translation: The grocery store and the hardware store are on opposite sides of the street.
In both of these example sentences, we are more specific about someone or something located on the opposite side of someone or something else.
This is different from saying someone is “from across” a vast ocean or the globe. It’s much easier to use “across from” in reference to nouns that are nearer and smaller, like a table or a street.
Take a Closer Look
The following example demonstrates how to use “across from” and “from across” to mean something similar but not exactly the same:
|I sit across from my best friend in class.|
“Across from” is closer, smaller, and more localized. The students simply sit on opposite sides of the desk.
|I can see my best friend from across the classroom.|
Using “from across” puts the students on opposite sides of the whole classroom. It’s broader and places the students farther apart.
They’re still in the same room, but the context changes when you flip-flop the phrase “across from” to “from across.”
So, Which Is Correct: “Across” or “Across From”?
The answer to this question is you can use both. However, the use and combination of “across” and “from” depends on the context.
Different contexts demand different phrases and word usage. Sometimes, you need the prepositions to work together. Other times, you don’t need them to work together at all.
There is far more to learn about prepositions and prepositional phrases than what we’ve taught in this lesson. It’s a whole part of grammar that people tend to overlook because, in a sentence, prepositions aren’t the star of the show. To learn more, read “Speak to or Speak With: Which One Is Correct?”
Is It “Across From” or “Across The”?
The answer, again, is both. Think of it this way. Nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjectives are the actors in the play, and prepositions are the crew behind the scenes.
The show could not go on without prepositions, but you don’t usually notice them because they aren’t center stage. They play a critical role in many ways, and they have a lot of responsibility, but they aren’t supposed to stand out.
Prepositions and Preposition Types
At the basic level, we use prepositions to indicate direction, time, or location in a sentence (source).
Without prepositions, our sentences have no guidance. Prepositions are key to introducing the reader to something or someone, and they lead a sentence towards its purpose.
|She fell onto the floor.|
In this sentence, “onto” is our preposition. It tells the reader what direction she fell in. She didn’t fall inside the floor or off of the floor. She fell down onto the floor.
|We eat lunch at noon.|
In this sentence, “at” is our preposition. It leads the reader to find out exactly what time lunch is. Lunch takes place at noon.
|The book is on the shelf.|
In this sentence, “on” is the preposition. It tells the reader the location of the book. It’s not under the table or inside the cupboard — it’s on the shelf.
Some popular prepositions in English include “above,” “across,” “at,” “around,” “before,” “behind,” “below,” “by,” “down,” “during,” “for,” “from,” “in,” “on,” “off,” “under,” “with,” and “through.”
This list isn’t exhaustive, but these are some of the most common prepositions we use. We can even separate the different prepositions into groups that specifically indicate time, direction, or location within this list. We won’t get that in-depth here. This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
If you want more information on how to choose the appropriate prepositions, read “In Time vs. On Time: Choosing the Right Preposition for Time.” The point is that there are many preposition words we can choose from to create different meanings in our sentences.
Today, we learned what prepositions are and how to use them in a sentence. For example, we learned that “from” and “across” are both prepositions and how they function together in “from across.”
Additionally, we learned how to use these two words separately and as “across from,” depending on the message we wish to convey.
If you haven’t gathered this already, context is everything. Figuring out what combination of “from” and “across” to use can be difficult. When in doubt, simplify your sentences as much as possible, and try swapping in other preposition words to see if your sentence still makes sense.