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    #1

    Sit in vs. on the train

    "I was sitting in the train going home the other day when the man opposite me leant over and said: "Excuse me, but have you got the right time?" (Miles Kington: A computer never knows it's a quarter to seven - Miles Kington, Columnists - The Independent.)

    "Sitting on the train" sounds better to me. Is "sitting in the train" correct?

    Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: Sit in vs. on the train

    I would probably say 'on', but have no objection to 'in'.

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    #3

    Re: Sit in vs. on the train

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    "I was sitting in the train going home the other day when the man opposite me leant over and said: "Excuse me, but have you got the right time?" (Miles Kington: A computer never knows it's a quarter to seven - Miles Kington, Columnists - The Independent.)

    "Sitting on the train" sounds better to me. Is "sitting in the train" correct?

    Thanks!

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


    Jasmin,


    (1) As we Americans like to say, I think that this is a win-win

    situation for everyone. Everyone is correct. Everyone is a winner!!!

    (a) Yes, "ride on a train" is surely more common in American

    English.

    (b) I suspect that "ride in a train" is used by some British English

    speakers. (As you know, The Independent is one of London's

    quality newspapers.)

    (2) One commenter in a 2006 post at englishforums.com made an

    excellent point:

    "in" is usually used for smaller vehicles; "on" for larger ones. He

    most helpfulfully pointed out that we "get in(to) a car" but we

    "get on" a train, bus, ship, etc.

    (3) I also found a scholarly book (Google books) entitled Corpora in

    Cognitive Linguistics by Walter de Gruyter. He gave this:

    English: (people) sit on the train.

    German: im Zug sitzen ("sit in the train")

    Russian: sidet' / exat/ na poezde ("sit/ go on the train")

    P.S. I found another Google book discussing English as spoken in

    Malaysia (which was formerly governed by the United Kingdom). It

    gave a sentence something like: He prefers riding in a train.

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    #4

    Re: Sit in vs. on the train

    I'm wondering why they would ask you for the time if you didn't know it was the right time.

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    #5

    Re: Sit in vs. on the train

    They could suspect that something was wrong with their watch and want to check against something known to be accurate.

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