Explain with examples on the difference between next to, near,by, beside

Dear Student.

"Next to" and "beside" are the same thing, the latter being the more formal one. 
For example, the sentences "He is standing next to me" and "He is standing beside me" ​both ​​​​​​say the same thing.

"Near" is used to refer to something in the close vicinity of something. The idea of closeness can vary. 
For example: Don't go near the pool. This sentence tells someone to not go close to the pool meaning around a specific area. 

"By" is used to show the proximity of an object to something. 
For example, The glass is kept by the fridge. The sentence shows that the glass is kept quite close to the fridge.

We hope that this answer solves your query.

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I would say that "next to" and "beside" are identical to me in meaning, signifying immediate adjacency. "near" is a little more approximate and to me, implies it isn't "next to" but just "fairly close". This works for any scale from buildings to cutlery.

"by" is a little more vague. I think on its own, it means the same as "beside"; "walking by the river" means the same to me as "beside".

example: my spoon is next to my plate, but the sugar bowl is only "near" (its on the table, so fairly close, but not probably not next to my plate)

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