Usage of in the front / in front


Can't we say, "in middle" like "in front"? For example,


"Put the expression in middle."


Or should we say, "Put the expression in the middle." And then, shouldn't we say, "in the front" instead of "in front" in the sentence,


"Put the expression in front."


Or is there a meaning difference between "in the middle" and "in middle" and "in the front" and in front"?



And do you feel any difference in meaning between them?


1) Put it in the front of the sentence.

2) Put it in front of the sentence.


I think the #1 is natural and correct. What do you think?


Thank you so much again. Thank you so much as always and I respect your precious opinions and time as usual.

asked Jan 19 '13 at 13:59 Hans Contributor

2 answers


(1) In front of always refers to someone or something's physical location; in the middle of refers to either (2) someone or something 's temporal location, or (3) someone or something's physical location.


1.  The gas station is in front of City Hall.

1.  He is standing in front of the photocopier.

2.  I am sorry, but I can't talk right now. I am in the middle of a busy day.

2. The solo was sung in the middle of the symphony.

2.  She was in the middle of her presentation when her cellphone rang.

3.  My sister is in this group photo: she is in the middle.

3. Saskatchewan is in the middle of Canada.


I have heard in the front of used for sentences like the #1 examples, but I prefer in front of.  There may be an American English/British English difference here.  In middle of is always wrong.


I hope this helps.

link answered Jan 19 '13 at 14:39 Shawn Mooney Expert

Thank you so much as usual, so in this case the #1 and #2 in my question can be interchangeable for the same meaning?

HansJan 19 '13 at 14:54

Sorry, I forgot to comment directly on your two sentences, which were both about language! When talking about syntax (word order), 'at the front of the' + phrase, clause or sentence sounds better. I expect that there are quite a few really complicated linguistic phrases to describe that positioning, as well.

Shawn MooneyJan 19 '13 at 14:59

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Again, context is king.


Putting something IN FRONT OF the bus is different from putting something IN THE FRONT OF the bus.


In the first statement the object would be blocking the path of the bus, but in the second the object is inside the bus, near the front.


The object could also be placed IN THE MIDDLE OF the bus, but never IN MIDDLE OF the bus.

link answered Jan 19 '13 at 17:54 Tony Proano Expert

Good catch!

Shawn MooneyJan 20 '13 at 03:24

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