Difference between ‘at the back of’ and ‘behind’

Just like ‘in front of’, ‘in the front of’, ‘at the front of’ and ‘in the back of’, ‘at the back of’ and ‘behind’ are prepositional expressions and they are different in meaning.

At the back of  (at the rear of)

As the opposite of ‘at the front of‘, ‘at the back of’ and ‘at the rear of’ are used to talk about the part of something that is furthest from the front.

‘At the back of’ and ‘at the rear of’ are similar, but the latter is used more in formal or official language. For public buildings and aircraft, it’s more common to use ‘at the rear of’ (as in ‘exit’, ‘engine’), but for houses or other general entities (television, bed, etc.), ‘at the back of’ is usually used.

Examples:

  1. There was another door at the back of the mansion.
  2. You should check the wire at the back of the fridge.
  3. The engine at the rear of the plane caught fire while they watched.

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