In front of - Opposite

Important differences between similar prepositions

The two prepositions 'in front of' and 'opposite' are often confused in English. This short explanation will help you understand how to use each of these, as well as related synonyms, correctly. 'In front of' and 'opposite' are both prepositions of place. Prepositions of place tell us where something is located.

In front of

'In front of' refers to objects and people that are 'ahead of' something or someone else.

In other words, 'in front of' refers to a progression from back to front. Someone that is 'in front of' us is one further ahead. The antonym of 'in front of' is 'behind'. Here are some examples:

There are 50 people in front of us in this line. I hope I get a ticket.
The books are placed in front of the students on their desks.


'Opposite' refers to something that is facing another object. In other words, 'opposite' refers to two objects or people that are looking at each other. The main difference between 'in front of' and 'opposite' is that 'in front of' refers to placement in a sequence, whereas 'opposite' refers to things that face each other. Two synonyms can be used for 'opposite': facing and across from. Here are some examples:

My house is opposite David's house.
The bank is opposite the supermarket on 5th Avenue.