Translation:Their house is in the southwest direction.
Not sure if it’s colloquial English but I don’t think we really add prepositions when we talk about cardinal and secondary cardinal directions like this.
A simple answer of “their house is southwest” (as it should for other similar sentences in this skill) should be considered as “their house is at the southwest” honestly sounds odd.
The funny thing is, all these sound natural to me:
Their house is at the front of the (insert word here). Their house is at the back of the (xyz). Their house is at the side of the (xyz).
“Their house is at the north/south/east/west/northeast/southeast/southwest/northwest.” all sound very wrong without adding locations.
“Their house is TO the north/south/east/west/northeast/southeast/southwest/northwest” sound fine by themselves.
Whether one adds or leaves out a tiny preposition makes all the difference in European languages. I never really thought about how I just can’t explain why we do and don’t add prepositions to some things and not to others in English.
All I know is “to the southwest” sounds correct and “at the southwest” sounds wrong to me.
That is, unless you clarify which location is at the southwest in the sentence e.g.
“Their house is at the southwest corner of the property.” is fine, but if you don’t add the location with the cardinal direction it becomes unnatural.
P.S - Would like other English speakers to chime in just to know whether I’m overthinking this.
P.P.S - Indonesian having “di” and Chinese having 在 or just conflating or omitting certain words is suddenly feeling far more logical to me.
Agree with all of this. It's now bothering me how finicky English is with prepositions.
There are so many ways of expressing this sentence (ignoring that home and house are both valid translations of Rumah)
Their home is to the South West.
Their home is in the South West.
Their home is South West (a little awkward but works before a conjunction eg
"Where do they live?" "Well, their home is South West, but to get there you'll need to take the bus due South first"
I would say "[to the] southwest" [of the person giving the directions, or compared to a location previously mentioned] or "in the southwest" [more regional? also more common if talking about a region or relating the location to geographic features]
This phrase definitely needs to be flagged. "in the southwest", "to the southwest" and "southwest" all work well, but "at the southwest" doesn't sound correct.
Well, "at" needs to refer to a limited, well-delineated position, really. Definitely doesn't work with directions. It's not a problem with prepositions, just not what "at" does.