after和behind用来表地点时，前者强调的是顺序的先后，而后者侧重方向和位置的前后关系。请比较：The student sat after me.那个学生坐在我后面。(我坐在他前面)。The student sat behind me.那学生坐在我背后。after与behind用于指时间时，前者强调时间的先后顺序，而后者则着重于表示"落后……"或"迟于……"的概念。试比较：Who ruled after James I?詹姆斯一世之后是谁统治的?You are forty minutes behind schedule.你比规定的时间迟了40分钟。after多用于表示因时间上的先后而造成顺序的前后场合，behind则常用于仅指位置上的前后关系。请比较：Please shut the door after you.请随手关门。Please shut the door behind you.请关上你身后的门。
at the back of 这个前置词短语既可指具体的位置的先后，又可用于指抽象的概念。
after [ˈæftə(r)] prep. …后的；（表示时间）在…以后；（表示位置、顺序）在…后面 conj. 在…以后 adv. 以后，继后 adj. 后来的，以后的
Old English æfter "behind; later in time" (adv.); "behind in place; later than in time; in pursuit, following with intent to overtake" (prep.), from of "off" (see off (adv.)) + -ter, a comparative suffix; thus the original meaning was "more away, farther off." Compare Old Norse eptir "after," Old Frisian efter, Dutch achter, Old High German aftar, Gothic aftra "behind;" also see aft. Cognate with Greek apotero "farther off," Old Persian apataram "further."
From c. 1300 as "in imitation of." As a conjunction, "subsequent to the time that," from late Old English. After hours "hours after regular working hours" is from 1814. Afterwit "wisdom that comes too late" is attested from c. 1500 but seems to have fallen from use. After you as an expression in yielding precedence is recorded by 1650.