Move one seat right or Move to one seat right or Move one seat to right


Let say you are in a cinema and you would like to say to a couple that you can just move to the next seat so that they could sit but I couldnt figure out which one is correct form.

  • I can move one seat to right
  • I can move one seat right
  • I can move to the one seat right

I know I can use ‘move to the next seat’ but my intention is to find out the form I can use with 2 seats or 3 seats with the direction as well


Posted 2018-03-19T09:52:46.333

Reputation: 619



The general pattern here is

{number} {unit(s) of measure|position} to the {direction}


The lake lies five miles to the east.

Please move that wall-hanging six inches to the left.

Slide that chair one foot to the right.

And the "unit of measure|position" can be ad hoc:

The good hooch is three jugs to the right.

If there is a row of items, the item-name can be used as the unit.

They live three houses to the north.

My office is three doors to the left.

Your luggage is three compartments to the right.


Posted 2018-03-19T09:52:46.333

Reputation: 116 610

11I would add that in certain instances "Move one seat right" is actually not unheard of. I think of it as a contracted form of "Move one seat [to the] right", and it usually comes up when someone is adjusting the seating of many people at once. [ED: 'to your' is more often used when left/right is not totally unambiguous] – Darren Ringer – 2018-03-19T13:39:18.527

3Sometimes to the is omitted "five miles east", "six inches left", or "three houses north". But "three jugs right" and "three doors left" sound wrong to me. (I wonder if it's the verb that matters.) – Gossar – 2018-03-19T13:40:10.673

@Gossar In the same vein, "three doors down" does sound right to me, but that may be due to the band with that name... – Cronax – 2018-03-19T16:32:54.730

1@Gossar "three doors left" ... "in the hardware store three miles south" :) – yo' – 2018-03-19T22:51:44.780

1For up and down, always omit the to the – user70585 – 2018-03-20T01:28:04.127

@Gossar But sometimes to the is needed. "We walked 5 miles east", "the city is 5 miles east of here" and "the city is 5 miles to the east" are OK, but "the city is 5 miles east" sounds wrong to me. It matters whether the verb indicates position or motion, and it matters whether or not the direction is followed by an of-phrase. – Rosie F – 2018-03-20T08:11:57.373

@RosieF, I was considering position vs motion. "That street is two blocks south" sounds OK to me, perhaps because [of here] is elided. – Gossar – 2018-03-20T21:04:08.993

There seem to be three groups: up/down, N/S/E/W, and left/right. (maybe position/motion plus internal vs external frame of reference?) – Gossar – 2018-03-20T21:04:54.923


It is perfectly understandable and correct in American English to write:

"Could you move one seat over?" she asked.

He asked me to move one seat right.

Both of these sentences leave out some words, and there is more than one way to convey the same meaning. In the original question, the mistake is leaving out the word "the" when you write "...move to right." It should be "move one seat to the right" or "move one seat right" but not "move one seat to right."


Posted 2018-03-19T09:52:46.333

Reputation: 908


You can say either

I can move one seat to the right

or simply

I can move one seat right

The other versions you have are non-standard


Posted 2018-03-19T09:52:46.333

Reputation: 5 009


I can move one seat to the right.


Posted 2018-03-19T09:52:46.333

Reputation: 5 493

7I feel this needs more explanation (being for "English language learners" and all). – Gossar – 2018-03-19T13:48:42.383

Because that is how it is in English. There is no better explanation. – JeremyC – 2018-03-20T19:54:00.430

But that's not how it is on SE. Even if there's no better explanation there should be further explanation (discussion, references, something). – Gossar – 2018-03-29T00:22:44.787