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  1. #1
    ratóncolorao is offline Member
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    Default In / On the playground

    Hello,

    Could you please tell me the difference in meaning of these two expressions?:

    On the playground
    In the playground

    Thank you for your help

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: In / On the playground

    Context would help.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  3. #3
    ratóncolorao is offline Member
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    Default Re: In / On the playground

    In fact, I was searching for some general rules in order to be able to use it properly when the occasion comes. Not just a single example where you can tell me if it is wrong or right.... I want to know if there is a rule to follow.

    For instance, if I say:

    The little children are playing on/in the playground
    Swings are in the playground

    Which preposition would you choose and why - if there is a why, of course.

    Thank you all.

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: In / On the playground

    Quote Originally Posted by ratóncolorao View Post
    In fact, I was searching for some general rules in order to be able to use it properly when the occasion comes. Not just a single example where you can tell me if it is wrong or right.... I want to know if there is a rule to follow.

    For instance, if I say:

    The little children are playing on/in the playground
    There are swings in the playground

    Which preposition would you choose and why - if there is a why, of course.

    Thank you all.
    In both cases I would use "in". There is no reason explainable, it's just like that.

  5. #5
    ratóncolorao is offline Member
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    Default Re: In / On the playground

    When would you use "on" then?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: In / On the playground

    'The children are playing on the football field.'

  7. #7
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: In / On the playground

    [QUOTE=ratóncolorao;852584]


    CAUTION: NOT A TEACHER


    (1) I think (repeat: think) that most Americans nowadays prefer "on."

    (a) I went to the "books" section of Google and discovered that although some

    Americans (especially in the earlier part of the twentieth century) do use "in," it

    appears that "on" is now the preferred form for Americans.

    (2) Here are just four examples:

    (a) Swings are ... one of the most used pieces of equipment on a playground.

    Source: Planning and Urban Design Standards (2006) by the American Planning Association.

    (b) David and his friend, Brett, noticed two empty swings on the playground.

    Source: One Year Book of Family Devotions (2000).

    ***

    (c) A group of six children is actively playing on a permanent, modular playground system.

    Source: Outdoor Play (2002) by Karyn Housen.

    (d) These children also played together on the playground.

    Source: Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood Education (1991) by Lois Weis.

    (3) Why is "on" preferred? Maybe (maybe) because a playground is a flat area.

    Therefore:

    On a football field (as Rover said)
    On a soccer field. (To Americans, "football" = American football, not soccer.)
    On the tennis court
    On the golf course
    On the sidewalk

    In his famous (and huge) grammar, Professor Quirk gives this example:

    The players were practicing on the field . ( = surface for sports)

    Cows were grazing in the field. ( = enclosed area of land)

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