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  1. #1
    Romeo4755 is offline Newbie
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    Default at, on, in prepositions with flat places

    There're some rules that are overlapping a bit (at least in my mind).
    1) with big areas we usually use 'in' (where? - in Greece, in Europe, in the Nothern hemisphere, in the field)
    2) opposite to buildings (where? IN a building) grounds of combined nature (flat places + buildings on them) require 'at' preposition (at the airport, at a bus station)
    3) and I can't figure out or find anywhere a rule for using 'on' with areas.
    It looks like this preposition is usually used with different places near water which somewhat rise over the water level (on the bank, on the Avon, on the coast, on an island - if the island is not very big. If the island is big, then we should use 'in' like with other vast areas.

    Having at last lost myself here I would like to know which preposition we should use with the words 'ground', 'stadium', 'football field', 'beach', 'site'.
    AT the sports ground or ON the sports ground (or playground)? (I've seen 'IN' as well)
    With 'stadium' all the three prepositions are used regularly - according to what I see.
    The player is scoring a goal on the field or in the field?

    Thank you very much for your educational help.

    Also I wonder which 'where' prepositions go well with the words 'picture' and 'page'. The problem is that I can find examples of very different usage.

  2. #2
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: at, on, in prepositions with flat places

    Quote Originally Posted by Romeo4755 View Post
    There're some rules that are overlapping a bit (at least in my mind).
    1) with big areas we usually use 'in' (where? - in Greece, in Europe, in the Nothern hemisphere, in the field)
    2) opposite to buildings (where? IN a building) grounds of combined nature (flat places + buildings on them) require 'at' preposition (at the airport, at a bus station)

    It depends on the context, Romeo.

    "at the airport" means at the physical location, but "in the airport terminal"; "at the bus station [physical location] versus "in the bus station" [the building]



    3) and I can't figure out or find anywhere a rule for using 'on' with areas.
    It looks like this preposition is usually used with different places near water which somewhat rise over the water level (on the bank, on the Avon, on the coast, on an island - if the island is not very big. If the island is big, then we should use 'in' like with other vast areas.

    Use 'in' if it the name of an island. To say that "he's in the island" would mean underground, inside the island.

    Having at last lost myself here I would like to know which preposition we should use with the words 'ground', 'stadium', 'football field', 'beach', 'site'.
    AT the sports ground or ON the sports ground (or playground)? (I've seen 'IN' as well)
    With 'stadium' all the three prepositions are used regularly - according to what I see.
    The player is scoring a goal on the field or in the field?

    Gotta run and check on the cattle. Following the ideas I've given you, why not try to make some examples, with enough context, to see how you do?


    Thank you very much for your educational help.

    Also I wonder which 'where' prepositions go well with the words 'picture' and 'page'. The problem is that I can find examples of very different usage.
    ###

  3. #3
    Romeo4755 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: at, on, in prepositions with flat places

    Thank you very much for your answers.
    So should I say 'on Greenland', 'on Madagaskar'?

    Following the ideas I've given you, why not try to make some examples, with enough context, to see how you do?


    For example: 'OK, girls, it's a nice day to ride a wave, let's meet ON the beach at 4. '
    Or AT the beach?
    For another example: 'OK, boys, i't a nice day to kick a ball, let's meet on the sports ground behind the house.'
    Or At the ground?
    For another example: 'OK, people, it's a fine day to scatter some fat, let's go and do some running in the stadium.'
    Or ON the stadium? Or AT the stadium?

  4. #4
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: at, on, in prepositions with flat places

    Quote Originally Posted by Romeo4755 View Post
    Thank you very much for your answers.
    So should I say 'on Greenland', 'on Madagaskar'?

    These are the names of the places so, "in Greenland/Madagascar".



    For example: 'OK, girls, it's a nice day to ride a wave, let's meet ON the beach at 4. '
    Or AT the beach?


    'ON the beach' would mean on the sand surface, eg. Let's meet on the beach by the lifeguard tower.

    'AT the beach' would mean in the general physical location of the beach, maybe the parking lot, the boardwalk, etc. Folks would use this when everyone was privy to where they'd meet up at.





    For another example: 'OK, boys, i't a nice day to kick a ball, let's meet on the sports ground behind the house.' Or At the ground?

    Same as for the beach example, Romeo.


    For another example: 'OK, people, it's a fine day to scatter some fat, let's go and do some running in the stadium.'
    Or ON the stadium? Or AT the stadium?
    'in' is fine; it means inside the stadium. 'at' is alos ok, it means the same as the example for the beach, soccer grounds.

    'on the stadium' doesn't work because it means on the roof or some other place like that. You could say, 'on the stadium field/grounds/track.

    You're doing fine, Romeo. You'll get this problem licked in no time.

  5. #5
    Romeo4755 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: at, on, in prepositions with flat places

    Thank you very much.
    I am working on it. :)

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: at, on, in prepositions with flat places

    Islands - You are on an island, even if it is a named one. I am on Corfu, I am on Madagascar, I am on the Isle of Wight, I am on Christmas Island.

  7. #7
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: at, on, in prepositions with flat places

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Islands - You are on an island, even if it is a named one. I am on Corfu, I am on Madagascar, I am on the Isle of Wight, I am on Christmas Island.

    I didn't mean to suggest that all named islands would use 'in', Anglika, but I must admit that it could easily have been perceived by ESLs as that. Thanks for pointing that up.

    Some islands are also countries, and in those cases, it's okay to be 'in' a certain country, even if it is an island.

    Having said that and agreeing with you as I do, I'm somewhat surprised at the Google results for 'Corfu' and 'the Isle of Wright'.

    I think that when we see a place as a destination 'in' might sometimes be used where 'on' would be more natural. For example, I'm not that familiar with Corfu and I might perceive that it's also the name name of a city/town there so I [and other confused travellers] might use 'in'.


    Results 1 - 10 of about 760,000 English pages for "in Greenland".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 67,800 English pages for "on Greenland".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 52,300 English pages for "on Madagascar".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 707,000 English pages for "in Madagascar".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 545,000 English pages for "in Corfu".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 64,400 English pages for "on Corfu".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 4,030 English pages for "in the Isle of Wright".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 3,480 English pages for "on the Isle of Wright"

  8. #8
    LwyrFirat is offline Member
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    Default Re: at, on, in prepositions with flat places



    Sorry for intervening but can the “higher number google search results” be a criteria for the accurate usage of a preposition?

    As when I google “on USA” it gives ;

    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,670,000 for "on USA", though "on" is incorrect preposition for the USA.

    It happens because google just gives the list of the sentences that "on" and "USA" words next to each other, like ; Hands on USA is a volunteer organization doing disaster .

    That's why for all other examples as well google search results may mislead about the accurate usage of prepositions.

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