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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Question On vs. in

    Is there a general rule for "On" or "In"? I never know whats right. For example you are riding IN a car but leaving "ON" a jet plane (really sitting inside, just like a car).

  2. euncu's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: On vs. in

    But an airplane has a dect to walk ON.

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    #3

    Re: On vs. in

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Is there a general rule for "On" or "In"? I never know whats right. For example you are riding IN a car but leaving "ON" a jet plane (really sitting inside, just like a car).
    ***NOT A TEACHER***Don't feel discouraged. Just keep reading and listening. Start a notebook. Here in the United States, there are differences: (1) in/on the elevator. People use both. (2) in/on a chair. (3) California: stand in line; New York: stand on line. (4) You live in a "big" island; you live on a very "small" island. (5) On a ship; in a "small" boat. (6) Furthermore, there are differences between the States and the United Kingdom. Thank you.

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    #4

    Re: On vs. in

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***NOT A TEACHER***
    (3) New York: stand on line. I'm surprised to read this.

    (4) You live in a "big" island; ditto
    2006


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    #5

    Re: On vs. in

    I agree with TheParser - don't try to find a rule for prepositions. Generally, 'in' means 'inside' and 'on' means 'on top of'.

    Of course there are hundreds of abritrary ones. When a new noun comes along, we have to pick a new preposition to go with it and often it doesn't make sense.

    My fiancée speaks English as a second language, and she often makes the mistake of using on for in and vice versa. I guess sometimes you have to just guess, and hope for the best.

    There are words where I don't know the answer. 'Hammock', for example. Are you in a hammock, or on one? Beats me!

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    #6

    Re: On vs. in

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    2006
    2006: Sorry for not writing more clearly. I meant to say that one says, "They live IN Cuba" (large island), but "The shipwreck survivors found refuge ON a tiny island." I have also noticed that quite a few years ago, newspapers referred to events ON the West Bank, now it's IN the West Bank. Thank you.

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