In the following image:

Do you see the water in a few feet radius around a land? How do you describe this? Let's assume that the land is a park and there is no fountain. Can I express it this way:

A water circle of few radius is around the park.

I'm not sure if that sentence is grammatically and logically correct.

Or can I say it this way:

The park is surrounded by a circle of water having few feet radius.

  • 4
    Welcome to EL&U. You might enjoy participating at our sister site English Language Learners. Apr 30 '13 at 15:04
  • For the shape of the water: english.stackexchange.com/q/39196/3306
    – rajah9
    Apr 30 '13 at 15:58
  • How about, "The park is encircled by a 10-meter wide ring of fountaining water." (Not sure on the fountaining! lol!) Apr 30 '13 at 18:01
  • Your main problem here is the idea of saying few radius. That makes no sense. Radius doesn’t take few; it might take small or narrow. You use few when counting things, not measuring them.
    – tchrist
    May 1 '13 at 12:36

I'd probably use the word moat.

moat noun
a deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle, fort, or town, typically filled with water and intended as a defence against attack.


Modern moats would normally be decorative rather than defensive. There are a couple below. I would re-write your particular phrase as

The park is surrounded by a circular moat a few feet wide.

Decorative exterior moat

Black Lion

Decorative interior moat

Dornob Design Ideas

  • 3
    The (OP's) shape is known as an 'annulus' or 'circular ring'. Apr 30 '13 at 15:12
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth Ah well there we are. I interpreted the question as what to call the feature itself rather than its shape. (It could be a circular moat).
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 30 '13 at 15:13
  • I think that moat accurately conveys the "surrounding nature" of the feature, and also allows the OP to say "few feet wide" without needing to reference the size of the park itself. An annulus requires 2 radii to describe, or one absolute radius and a width. The original proposed statement (in the question) suggests a park which is smaller than a hot tub. Note also that while it is debatable whether "radius" is used in common speech, I would bet money that annulus is virtually unknown in common parlance.
    – horatio
    Apr 30 '13 at 17:07
  • @horatio we don't know that the audience of the OP is one that needs common parlance (they could be technical), and "moat" indicates something surrounding, given it's hisoric use as a defensive feature. The OP's depicted pond is not a moat. May 7 '13 at 16:23

"An annulus pond, 17 feet wide, borders the south-eastern edge of the park"

'17 feet' is the radial width of the pond (water feature), but we never speak of radius in common speech. It is technical language for conveying specifics, like if discussing how to build a bridge over it, or how to leap across it.

  • I do think on SE sites that a downvote should necessitate a). a comment, or b). an upvote of an existing comment May 2 '13 at 2:16

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