I was asked this question recently- Are you wearing anything underneath your shirt?. So, I am wondering if it's possible to use under instead of underneath in the above sentence?

  • Yes, it's perfectly possible. – Kate Bunting Feb 25 '20 at 8:59
  • Underneath can be used as a preposition, adverb, adjective (usually, but not always, predicative) and noun. - Under can be used as a preposition, adverb, and adjective (usually, but not always, attributive and often as a prefix) and is probably obsolete as a noun and a verb. – Greybeard Feb 25 '20 at 9:13

Under is used when something is directly under another object.

Underneath is often used to say that something is covered by another thing.

Therefore, referring to the question : "Are you wearing anything underneath your shirt?", that person is probably referring to the thing you are wearing inside, instead of "under" which the person would refer to the thing you wear at the lower part of you shirt.

  • 5
    I suspect that most people would interpret under your shirt and underneath your shirt as meaning the same thing rather than differently as you state. – KillingTime Feb 25 '20 at 9:32

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