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if there is '-side' after front, what is correct? In the front side OR At the front side

As we all know, we usually use 'in front of' BUT, if there is '-side' thereafter, what now then?

Thx.

  • Welcome to EL&U. I would have thought that 'front' never needs the word 'side' added to it, myself. – Nigel J Nov 7 '17 at 15:43
  • There is also a usage such as 'On the right hand side'. Now I wonder the answer as well ! – Red fx Nov 7 '17 at 16:23
  • In the phrase "front side", the base noun is "side", not "front", and that is what the preposition refers to. ([the] front is a volume, whereas a side is an area, and "in" implies penetration for 2D objects) – AmI Nov 7 '17 at 19:10
  • Neither is correct, nor close to it. Whether you're looking at British or US American or some other variety of English, please take that question to English Language Learners. – Robbie Goodwin Nov 12 '17 at 20:14
  • Examples are helpful for these kinds of questions... – Lambie Feb 5 '18 at 20:44
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The distinction between "in" and "at" is one that has been valid even in older forms of English, as you can see in here: https://www.etymonline.com/word/at https://www.etymonline.com/word/in

Normally, "at" is preferred for "nearby, not actually inside" (but can also mean that you are inside the place) while "in" almost always conveys the meaning of being actually inside. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-in-and-at-How-would-you-explain-the-difference-between-these-two-prepositions-to-a-kid

Thus, you most likely are not "in the frontside", you are "at the frontside".

Edited to take into account an observation made in the comments.

  • 2
    I don't agree with saying that the (current) meaning of a word is established by its etymology. This is called the etymological fallacy. – green_ideas Nov 7 '17 at 17:38
  • You are right. Edited accordingly. – Pablo Oliva Nov 7 '17 at 18:06
  • Ok got it. Thx very much – John Arvin Nov 7 '17 at 19:26
  • You are welcome! @Johnnarvin, if you think that this is the best answer you can get, would you care to accept it? – Pablo Oliva Nov 9 '17 at 14:36
  • Also, just throwing up all the ins and ats will not include all the buts. – Lambie Dec 7 '17 at 18:34

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