Near vs. Nearby

Someone from twitter recently asked me what the difference between near and nearby is. I thought I would post my answer in case others had the same question.

adverb –in close relationship, within a short distance.
Christmas is drawing near.

– close in time, space or position, short and direction, barely avoided, close kinship
Julianne is my near and dear friend.

preposition – close to
I live in a town that is near the beach.

adverb – not far away.
I live nearby.

adjective – a short distance away
There is a great restaurant in this nearby town.

As you can see only ‘near’ is a preposition and there are subtle differences between the uses of the 2 as adverbs and adjectives.

Try this little quiz to see if understand the differences between the two words.

  1. In the _______ future, I will be president!
  2. I ate at a _________ restaurant.
  3. My grandmother is _____ death.


  1. near
  2. nearby
  3. near

7 thoughts on “Near vs. Nearby”

  1. I can understand the defference near and nearby.
    It’s very interesting for me.
    Great thanks. I come here from twitter.
    Oh! Your bed call you! See you! Have a wonderful dream.
    Tsuyoshi Umeda

  2. Thanks so much for coming to my site! I’m glad this post was interesting for you! Let me know if you have any questions about anything. See you on Twitter!

  3. I see! I didn’t know the difference, but now I know, too.
    I hope I am a good English speaker in the near future. hehehe

    Happy Birthday, Yvonne♪♪♪ Stay beautiful♫♫♫ (So sorry it’s too late to say…)

  4. I find out that “nearby” is only used to decribe space or distance; “near” has more situation in use!

  5. Thank you so much. Your simple explanation was the best I could find in the web. I’ve just subscribed to your feeds.

  6. By the way, can we say that the difference between near and nearby as adverbs is that near is related to time, while nearby is related to space?

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