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Dictionaries say when two things are connected or linked, the prepositions to use are “to” and “with” (e.g. “This line connects point A to Point B” and “The train links Paris with London”). Would you say it is also acceptable to use “and” in place of “to” or “with” as in the following?

This line connects point A and Point B.

The train links Paris and London.

What bothers me is that these two prepositions seem to imply some sort of directionality. For example, the sentence “This line connects point A to Point B” suggests to me that the line in question extends from point A to Point B, rather than the other way around, and sometimes you want to describe lines or connections without implying any directionality.

If the use of “and” is not acceptable, how would you two turn sentences like “Point A and point B are connected by a line” into the active voice?

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  • No, connect is directionless. Though the two alternatives eventually mean the same thing, the sentences are parsed differently. As for the second part of the Q., "Point a connects to point B."
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 10:15
  • I don't see why you say there is directionality here. If you can take a train from Paris to London, there is generally a train running along the same route that you can take back. Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 12:50
  • "This line connects point A and Point B" is perfectly fine syntax and semantics, and doesn't particularly grate either. If one were talking about, say, a "linked list" in programming then there is a directionality such that A might be connected "to" B but not the other way around. And a train might somehow run Paris to London to Hamburg to Paris, in which case the directionality is significant. But not for a train that runs both directions between two endpoints.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 14:02
  • Point A and point B are fine. I do think the "to" adds some directionality, especially since English is a sequential language. Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 14:32

1 Answer 1

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"This line connects points A and B" however, it does not imply "with each other" For instance, or at least, it only weakly implies it. If we add a clause,

"This line connects points A and B with point C"

This is why "to" of "with" are suggested, since this implicity indicates "with each other", so for instance

"This line connects point A to point B with point C"

doesn't really make sense, and one would have to use for instance "

"This line connects point A to point B through point C"

Therefore if you are happy with only the weak implication, then go ahead, but the string, precise implication is what you see from the recommendation.

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