Difference between "under", "below", "beneath", and "underneath"

source: Learn English with Let's Talk      2014年5月7日
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These words are all similar in meaning, but figuring out the differences between them can be a little tricky. First, it's helpful to know how common each word is:
1. "Under" is the most popular.
2. "Below" is used about 1/4 as often as "under"
3. "Beneath" is used 1/2 as often as "below"
4. "Underneath" is used less than 1/2 as often as "beneath"
So if you're struggling to choose the correct word, "under" is probably the safest choice.

# Under
--Compared to "below", "under" is more often used to talk about 3-dimensional objects. For example, you'd talk about something being under a table, under a book, etc.
--"Under" is also good for talking about layers of something:
I have on a t-shirt under my jacket.
--You can use "under" for numbers:
I did it in under 7 hours.
We were able to raise just under fifteen thousand dollars.
--"Under" also shows up in expressions like:
under stress
under pressure
under someone's control
under someone's influence
under consideration
under construction
under a spell

--Compared to "under", you use "below" more often to talk about the level of something on a flat plane. For example, if you're describing two photos that hang on a wall, you can say that one of them is "below" the other.
--Use "below" to talk about the level of something, like a temperature:
It's supposed to drop below freezing tonight.
--In writing, you can use "below" to talk about something later on:
Please read the instructions below before you begin.
--The opposite of "below" is "above".

# Beneath
--"Beneath" is more formal than "under":
In the unlikely event of an emergency water landing, you may find a flotation device beneath your seat cushion.
--It can also suggest being covered by something:
beneath the blankets
beneath the surface of the water
--When you're talking about someone's actions or decisions, you use "beneath" to talk about the true emotions that a person is hiding:
Beneath it all, he still loves her.
--When you're talking about human relationships, being "beneath" someone is very negative. Things or people that are "beneath" you are disgusting. They're too low for someone with your social position:
She acts like some kind of princess, like we're all beneath her.

# Underneath
--"Underneath" has a kind of casual and expressive feeling. You can choose "underneath" instead of "under" to explain the location of something with a little more emphasis.
A: You found it! Where was it?
B: It was underneath the sofa.
--Think of "underneath" as a more emotional, exciting version of "under".