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    #1

    Carnival

    Dear all,

    According to Cambridge Dictionary Online, carnival is a public celebration where people wear special clothes and dance and play music in the roads.

    I'm wondering why the preposition is "in" rather than "on."

    I'm looking forward to your reply.

    Vivian

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      • English
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      • United States
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    #2

    Re: Carnival

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivianlin View Post
    Dear all,

    According to Cambridge Dictionary Online, carnival is a public celebration where people wear special clothes and dance and play music in the roads.

    I'm wondering why the preposition is "in" rather than "on."

    I'm looking forward to your reply.

    Vivian

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Ms. Lin,


    You have asked an excellent question. May I contribute to your

    thread?

    (1) I think that many (most?) Americans would be more comfortable

    with "in the street."

    (2) Many times "on the street" in American English actually means

    on the sidewalk:

    What does the man on the street (the average/typical citizen) think about the government's decision? (Some Americans would be comfortable with
    "in" in this particular sentence.)

    If you don't have enough money for your rent, you will end up on the street ( = homeless)


    *****

    I think that "in" is preferred when you think of a real or imaginary

    enclosure: The cows were grazing (eating) in the field.

    But "on" is preferred when you think of a large flat surface:

    The girls were practicing soccer on the field.

    *****

    Maybe (maybe -- at least in American English) it is "better" to

    say that a carnival takes place in the street because maybe

    one is thinking of a definite and confined space. On the other hand,

    I think that many Americans would be comfortable with "There are

    many expensive cars on the street nowadays." Maybe because we

    are thinking of a large space without limits (a street can extend for

    miles and miles).


    Thank you & Happy New Year

    P.S. I thought of two more examples:

    (a) The people are demonstrating in the street.

    (b) Call an ambulance!!! There's a man lying hurt in the street.

    (In both cases, we are interpreting in our minds the word "street"

    as a definite and limited area.)

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: Carnival

    Thank you very much for your detailed explanation. I appreciate it. Happy New Year!


    Vivian

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