# Along vs. Across: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 2, 2023
Along refers to movement in a continuous line following a path or object, whereas across implies moving from one side to the other of something.

## Key Differences

Along is used to describe movement following the length of something, while across indicates a path that goes from one side to the other, cutting through or over.
When moving along, the motion is parallel to something, such as a road or river. Across, on the other hand, implies crossing over an area or surface.
Along often suggests a linear, continuous movement beside or in line with an object. Across, in contrast, conveys a sense of overcoming a boundary or barrier.
To travel along a path is to follow its course, while to go across something is to traverse it, reaching the opposite side.
Along can imply a proximity or closeness to a linear feature, whereas across emphasizes a breadth or span being crossed.

## Comparison Chart

### Direction of Movement

Parallel to a path or surface.
From one side to the other of a surface.

### Sense of Motion

Continuous and linear.
Transversal, often cutting through.

### Relation to an Object

Alongside or in line with.
Overcoming or traversing an area.

### Implication of Action

Following a path or border.
Crossing a barrier or boundary.

### Connotation

Proximity and lengthwise movement.
Spanning and overcoming distance.

## Along and Across Definitions

#### Along

Moving or extending in a continuous line.
The cat ran along the fence, chasing birds.

#### Across

From one side to the other of something.
She swam across the lake in record time.

#### Along

In accordance with or following.
The project is moving along as planned.

#### Across

Reaching or spanning completely over.
The bridge runs across the river.

#### Along

In a line parallel to the length of something.
She walked along the riverbank, enjoying the view.

#### Across

On or to the opposite side of.
The grocery store is across the street.

#### Along

In company with; accompanying.
He brought his guitar along to the campfire.

#### Across

In opposition or contrast to.
His ideas ran across the norms of the society.

#### Along

At a point or points on.
There are several cafes along this street.

#### Across

Extending or directly over.
A rainbow formed across the sky.

#### Along

Over the length of
Walked along the path.

#### Across

On, at, or from the other side of
Across the street.

#### Along

On a line or course parallel and close to; continuously beside
Rowed along the shore.
The trees along the avenue.

#### Across

So as to cross; through
Drew lines across the paper.

## FAQs

#### What does along mean in terms of direction?

Along implies movement in a continuous line parallel to something.

#### Does along imply a linear path?

Yes, along typically suggests a straight or gently curving path.

#### Is across used for short distances?

Across can refer to both short and long distances, emphasizing transversal.

#### Can along be used to describe proximity?

Yes, it often indicates closeness along the length of something.

#### How is across used to describe movement?

Across describes moving from one side to another over something.

#### Can along be used in the context of time?

Yes, e.g., "Along the course of the week."

#### Can across imply overcoming obstacles?

Yes, it often suggests crossing over barriers or boundaries.

#### Does across indicate a direct path?

Typically, yes, it implies a more direct path than along.

#### Is along used for paths beside rivers or roads?

Yes, it's commonly used for paths parallel to rivers, roads, etc.

#### How does along relate to companionship?

It can mean bringing someone or something with you.

#### Is along appropriate for describing routes?

Yes, especially when following the length of a route.

#### Can across be used metaphorically?

Yes, for example, "His opinion was across from mine."

#### How does across work in terms of visual span?

Across can indicate a visual span, like a rainbow across the sky.

#### How does across relate to opposition?

It can describe things in contrast or opposing positions.

#### Can along be used in abstract contexts?

Yes, such as "progressing along a plan."

#### Does along imply following an existing path?

Generally, yes, it suggests following a set path or course.

#### Is along suitable for describing scenic routes?

Yes, particularly for routes with notable features along them.

#### How does across function in navigation?

It's used for indicating a path over an area, like a field.

#### Is across suitable for spatial relations in diagrams?

Yes, it's often used to describe positions in diagrams or maps.

#### Can across be used for crossing streets?

Yes, like "walking across the street."