Near in Russian: рядом vs. около vs. восле vs. у vs. близко

There are five main words that give the meaning, “near,” in Russian: “возле,” “около,” “у,” “рядом,” and “близко.” However, these words can only be used in certain contexts.

Please note, to say "near" in Russian, you'll need a solid command of the Russian cases, especially the genitive case. If you'd like to review them, please refer to our Russian cases page here.

Возле, около, and у

For the group of words, “возле,” “около,” and “у,” you have to specify what you’re near – i.e., the sentence requires an object. For example, you can’t say “Я около” (“I’m near”) in Russian. Please note, these prepositions are followed by the genitive case.

  • возле + gen. = near
  • около + gen. = near
  • у + gen. = near

For example:

  • Я возле двери квартиры. = I’m by the apartment door.
  • Они нашли ключи около машины. = They found the keys near the car.
  • Я видел тебя у магазина. = I sa you near/outside the shop.

Рядом and близко

For the group of words, “рядом” and “близко,” you don’t have to specify what you’re near – i.e., the sentence doesn’t require an object. However, you still can add an object, though you’ll need an extra preposition.

  • рядом = near
  • близко = near, close

For example:

  • Я рядом. = I’m near
  • Я смогу сделать это. Я уже близко. = I can do it. I'm close.
  • N.B. “близкий” can be used and declines as the adjective it is

To specify what you’re near, adding an object to the sentence, you’ll need to add the prepositions “с” + instrumental case to “рядом” and “от” + genitive case or "к" + dative case to “близко.”

  • рядом с + instr. = near
  • близко от + gen. / к + dat. = near, close

For example:

  • Я хочу быть рядом с тобой. = I want to be near you.
  • Бар находится близко от университета. = The bar is close to the university.
  • Филадельфия близко к морю. = Philadelphia is close to the sea.
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