Gentle Bamboo Solutions

Is it Below or is it Under?


My son’s 1st standard exam paper today had this question:


Question: The guy is standing _______ the fan.

A. Near

B. Below

C. Under

D. None of the above

He had eliminated Near from the choices and asked me for some help to choose between Below and Under. I was stumped. I like to think my English is OK. But I had no idea of the difference between the two words. Clearly there was an option that was more correct, but I didn’t know it. And I was looking like an idiot in front of a 5 year old.

Long story short, I suggested he answer with Under. He got 29 out of 30 marks. The only mistake was the one answer I helped him with. I learned later that Below is more appropriate to use in this context, and why. I asked my wife, my mom, my dad, and my business partner. They all got it wrong.

My son is now convinced that we are all idiots. For the last two hours I have been asking him if he needs help preparing for the next exam tomorrow, and he says, “I’ll handle this myself. Thank you very much.” (Not in so many words, but that’s what I see on his face).

This blow to my self-confidence will take a while to recover from. 😂