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The Correct Usage Of OPPOSITE And ADJACENT by NifemiOlu(m): 10:10pm On Jun 01, 2016
‘Opposite’ and ‘Adjacent’ as used by many Nigerians is way out of line. To get this one spot on, I will make use of two dictionaries and try to forget my own head knowledge.

According to Encarta Dictionaries and Oxford Advanced LD (7th edition), the words are defined as follows:

OPPOSITE: (Encarta) positioned as to face somebody or something from the other side of an intervening space.
OPPOSITE: (OALD) on the other side of a particular area from somebody or something and *USUALLY facing them.
Note: take note of the asterisked word USUALLY.

ADJACENT: (Encarta) situated near or close to something or each other, especially without touching.
ADJACENT: (OALD) next to or near something.


I have a house opposite Shoprite.

This statement above, using the definitions, means that the speaker has a house positioned as to facing Shoprite. This also means that there is a space, probably a street, in between the buildings. By extension, the use of ‘usually’ by OALD suggests that it may not be 100% directly facing each other. This means that provided the buildings have an intervening space in between, regardless of whether they are directly facing other, they are still opposite. Summarily, what makes the buildings opposite is the space in between.

I have a house adjacent Shoprite.

Kindly pay attention here. The speaker here has a house adjacent Shoprite and this means that the house is next to or close to Shoprite. This also means that his house could be on the same lane as Shoprite. Let’s say his house is number 10, Shoprite could be number 12 (according to Encarta). The statement also means that, the building could be actually ‘touching’ Shoprite (looking at the word ‘especially’), so his house could be no. 10 and Shoprite is no. 10b or 11. This also satisfies OALD.

The dictionaries have clearly explained it. Adjacent, being next to or close to something, could also be opposite. Adjacent indirectly means ‘opposite’ and ‘next to’ regardless of position so far the objects are close. This means that in Ilorin, the Xerox company sharing the same fence with the stadium is adjacent (next to) and Eruda junction is also adjacent (but mostly fulfils being opposite) because it is not far from the stadium. This also means that Tantalizers, Glo office, Femtech and Eruda junction are all opposite the stadium and could also be adjacent because they are not far from the stadium.

Funnily, Tantalizers, Femtech and Eruda junction are also opposite again because there is Taiwo road passing in between them and the stadium. We Nigerians have made ‘adjacent’ to mean indirectly opposite only and we have made ‘opposite’ to mean directly opposite only.

So if you use ‘adjacent’ to mean ‘next to’ or ‘opposite’, provided the entities are not far from each other, then you’re right.

By: NifemiOlu
Admin (Olukoni relationship Blog https://nifemiolu..com.ng )


Re: The Correct Usage Of OPPOSITE And ADJACENT by NifemiOlu(m): 5:48am On Jun 02, 2016

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