I am a bit confused with the usage of the word "along" in a sentence from some lecture slides

"check if X lies on the path along existing neighbors"

Does this mean that X is structured in this form: foo ----- X ----- bar

or: foo ----- bar ---- X


  • More context needed. Jun 29, 2014 at 15:03
  • it is a sentence from slide not much context. I would have understood otherwise Jun 29, 2014 at 15:05
  • There are no other slides in this same series, and no topic known for the lecture? Jun 29, 2014 at 15:10
  • 1
    That's not a standard usage of the word "along", as far as I can tell. You'd have to figure out the meaning from context. Jun 29, 2014 at 15:13
  • @BrianDonovan yeah that's what I thought first. Looking at the other slides I will assume that the teacher meant is scenario 1: foo ---- X ---- bar Jun 29, 2014 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


"Along" has been misplaced in the sentence. The sentence, to be grammatically correct, should read: "Check to determine if X lies along the same line as defined by existing values." "Neighbors" is a bad choice of words for this idea entirely. While it does carry a suggestion that two things are part of a straight-line contiguous row of objects, such as houses on a street, streets need not be straight. Also, one can have neighbors in a neighborhood who do not have their houses either next to one's own and/or on some arbitrarily-defined reference line, such as a street. For this reason, I would not have used the word "neighbors" anywhere in the sentence.

  • The context probably is graph theory, in which straight-line is not a meaningful concept. In graph theory, “a path in a graph is a finite or infinite sequence of edges which connect a sequence of vertices”. Neighbors is a basic term in graph theory. The neighbors of a vertex are those vertices connected to it or from it by an edge. Probably along should be replaced by a word like between Jun 29, 2014 at 16:54
  • @jwpat7 you're correct, the context is graph theory Jul 4, 2014 at 14:35

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