Quick answer
"Close to" is a phrase which is often translated as "cerca de", and "next to" is a preposition which is often translated as "al lado de". Learn more about the difference between "close to" and "next to" below.
close to(
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
1. (physically near)
a. cerca de
My mom lives close to the school.Mi mamá vive cerca de la escuela.
2. (relationships)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I like my coworkers, but I'm not close to any of them.Me gustan mis colegas, pero no tengo mucha relación con ninguno de ellos.
I'm not very close to my parents.No trato mucho a mis padres.
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next to(
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (adjacent to)
a. al lado de
The teacher's desk is next to the chalkboard.El escritorio del maestro está al lado del pizarrón.
b. junto a
My favorite restaurant is next to the beach.Mi restaurante preferido está junto a la playa.
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