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1) What is the difference between Corner, Junction, Intersection, Crossroad and Crossing?

As per google dictionary the definitions are: Corner - a place where two or more streets meet. Junction - a point where two or more things are joined. Intersection - a point at which two or more things intersect, especially a road junction. Crossroad - an intersection of two or more roads. Crossing - a place where roads or railway lines cross.

2) Which of the above 5 would a native speaker use for the following sentence? ( In India we almost always say crossing)

Meet me at the ____ of Park Street and Bishop Road.

3) Do we say "at the corner" or "on the corner"? 4) Which is correct "take the second left (On/Onto/Into) Park Street"

  • a\Add to your question the definitions you found for all 4 of the' locations'. this may shed light for you and the forum readers too. – lbf Mar 6 '18 at 5:38
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I’ll answer all four of your questions in list form.

  1. They all theoretically mean similar things. However, in practice, they are used differently.

    • Corners typically describe areas off the roads where sidewalks and buildings commonly are. There are typically four corners available to pedestrians where two roads meet. In the context of a conversation, it is normally easy to figure out which corner is being spoken about.

    • An intersection is the point where two roads (or typically anything else) cross each other and continue going on. An intersection is on the road itself.

    • A junction of two roads does not have to continue going on. Also, one of the roads can stop and the other can continue. (See https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/181960-intersection-vs-junction)

    • A crossroad (used in North America) is a road that joins two main roads or crosses a main road according to one of the definitions by google. Similar sources give similar definitions. This means crossroads are normally side roads or roads that are not as major that are used to get onto more major roads. A crossroad is the only one on this list that is a road rather than a certain point. However, I personally do not hear this term as often as terms like corner or intersection.

    • Crossing and intersection can mean the same thing. However, an intersection is normally where two roads meet while a crossing is where a road and something else meets.

  2. It depends on where that specific place is. There is no proper way to state what is correct in this instance, but here’s how I as well as many others that I know use the words: We use “at the corner” for all cases except when a street is meeting with something like railroads. There, we like to use intersection.

  3. Again, it depends. I agree with what this link says about the word corner: http://inmadom-myenglishclass.blogspot.com/2014/05/in-on-or-at-corner.html. It gives brief and accurate descriptions of the different ways to use prepositions before corners.

  4. “Take the second left on Park Street” would mean the driver is already on Park Street and they are going to take the second left turn going onto another road. “Take the second left onto Park Street” would mean the driver is on another street and they are taking a left to get to Park Street. “Take the second left into Park Street” is technically the same in usage as onto, but I don’t hear it used much unless Park Street is the last street the driver is going to turn on before arriving at their destination.
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    'Crossroads' in the plural is also, at least in British English, an older term for an intersection. – Kate Bunting Mar 6 '18 at 8:49
  • @KateBunting That is true, but I generally like to think of the intersection as the area on the roads that are intersecting, whereas I think of crossroads the way you mentioned as the area on the roads and around the roads. For example, an intersection between street A and B may have a crack, but the crossroads between A and B may have many shops around as well as many people walking down the sidewalks. I just interpret it this way because of the way I’ve heard it used, but as a source, Cambridge defines crossroads as a “place” and intersection as a “point.” Thank you for your comment! – Jonathan Harbaugh Mar 6 '18 at 9:02
  • @Jonathan Thank you Jon, that is very vivid. On point 4 where you say “Take the second left on Park Street” would mean the driver is already on Park Street and they are going to take the second left turn going onto another road., I have seen many people, even Google map always telling the name of the road we are about to come to. Like 50 meters from here turn right on Park Street. Also from the link you have provided Junction is more of a rural road term, while Intersection is more used to describe city roads? – Trishana Mar 6 '18 at 10:16
  • @Trishana I'm sure Kate Bunting would agree with me that we don't use Intersection much in the UK, but we do have lots of Junctions and Crossroads both in rural and urban areas. We even refer to 'Motorway junctions' which involve multi-lane highways and which always seem to be 'Intersections' in the US. – BoldBen Mar 6 '18 at 16:32
  • @Trishana You are right that Google Maps says things like “Turn right on Park Street,” which is different than “Take the second left on Park Street.” The second left assumes that there is a specific left being spoken about since the article “the” is used. However, turning right on Park Street is simply stating that your car is turning right and going on the street known as Park Street, so it would be okay to use it in that instance. – Jonathan Harbaugh Mar 6 '18 at 22:39

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