I have a problem with "next to" in Japanese.
I was practicing a lesson when I realized that の隣に and の横に have the same meaning, so instantly my brain exploded, I need help .-.
The exercises duolingo gave me were: With の隣に: ・椅子はテーブルの隣にいます。 ・隣に母がいます。
With の横に: ・兄はテーブルの横にいます。 ・テーブルの横に椅子が一つあります。
So, when should I use の隣に and when should I use の横に? What are the differences between them?
Hi! They are pretty close in meaning and overlap often, but in theory, tonari is used to denote the closest (regardless of actual distance) subject or object of the same percieved type (i.e. the chair and table, or the speaker and their mom). There should be no other such object between the two.
Yoko ni originally means sideways (among other things) so it means next to in the sense of the direction. There can be other things between the two, and the two don't need to be of the same type (i.e. the brother and the table), but they can be (i.e. the table and the chair.) I hope this didn't confuse you more?