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  1. eddy143's Avatar
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    #1

    Post why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    could some one clearify my thoughs here please? thanks.

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    #2

    Re: why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    Because they can - and both will be understood!

    Seriously, don't worry about things like this.

    People will understand when you say either, Please sit' in the chair' or 'on the chair.'

    However, I am more concerned about how your question was written: "could some one clearify my thoughs here please? thanks."

    It should be: Would someone clarify the difference, please?

  2. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    I'm not agree.
    I had always been wondering why we say 'on the bus' instead of 'in the bus' and strongly believed that no one could explain the reason why. But... eventually I had encountered a post where our deeply respected teacher bhaisahab pointed out the fact that initally busses was of a decker or a double decker type. That just amazed me! So I'm still looking forward to seeing an answer like that

    I would be very gratefull to you teachers if you highlight my mistakes in this post.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    A chair with a hard seat and no arms: I would definitely sit ON that chair.

    A chair with thick upholstery and arms: I could sit IN that chair.

    Try to picture the difference and see if that makes sense to you.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAD View Post
    I don't agree.
    I always wondered why we say 'on the bus' instead of 'in the bus' and strongly believed that no one could explain the reason why. But eventually I had encountered a post where our deeply respected teacher bhaisahab pointed out the fact that initally buses were of a single decker or a double decker type. That just amazed me! So I'm still looking forward to seeing an answer like that.

    I would be very grateful to you teachers if you would highlight my mistakes in this post.
    I've done that.

    Rover

  4. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    A chair with a hard seat and no arms: I would definitely sit ON that chair.

    A chair with thick upholstery and arms: I could sit IN that chair.

    Try to picture the difference and see if that makes sense to you.
    Yes, I've just pretended Sherlock Holmes sitting in the chair with the pipe.
    In, that's definitely in ....
    Thank you!

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    #7

    Re: why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    Quote Originally Posted by eddy143 View Post
    why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    could some one clearify my thoughs here please? thanks.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Eddy,


    (1) I know how you feel: you want a rule to follow.

    (2) But I have bad news: native speakers do not agree on the

    use of in/on.

    (a) For example, probably most people today say "in" an elevator,

    but when I was younger, probably most Americans said "on"

    an elevator. As time passes, the "rules" change.

    (b) Another example. The United States is a big country. Sometimes the

    preposition depends on where you live. Here in California, we stand

    "in" line while people in New York stand "on" line!!!

    (3) Many books say that you can use either "in" or "on" with the

    word "chair." Some people (and I agree with them) feel that "in" a

    chair gives a more relaxed feeling while "on" a chair is more tense.

    For example, I saw a picture of a table and several chairs. The

    caption (words under the picture) said something like: Five presidents

    sat on these chairs to discuss world problems. Maybe the use of

    "in" would have too "relaxed" for such an important meeting.

    (4) Of course, everyone agrees on these:

    On a sofa, couch, bench, stool.

    In an armchair. (It wraps around you)

    (5) My advice to you: use "in" with the word "chair." For example:

    I walked into Ms. Smith's English class. All the students were

    sitting in their chairs and listening carefully.

    For some people, "sitting ON their chairs" would be too tense,

    stiff, or formal. It gives an image of 30 children sitting up very

    straight. That is not how people usually sit.

  5. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    TheParser is as ever thorough in his answer
    But I've just taken aback at your advice to use in instead on.
    Not because I don't agree, it's just because of I always use and hear of on the chair. Though this is may be a good advice when staying in the US..

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    #9

    Re: why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    the messages given to the questions by members sometimes could be rather long and complex. thus it might take a few minutes to read and grasb well. Truly, I can not read that long message completely. I wish members would watch out the length of the posts.

  6. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: why do some people use "in" the chair and others use "on" the chair?

    Quote Originally Posted by galaxy View Post
    the messages given to the questions by members sometimes could be rather long and complex. thus it might take a few minutes to read and grasb well. Truly, I can not read that long message completely. I wish members would watch out the length of the posts.
    I'm sorry I've got what you mean.
    I do agree with you that headline should be somewhat "in or on the chair".
    I'd pin this rule (along with short explantions why it's necessary) at the top of the page on the Ask a Teacher Forum Guidelines annoucement.
    Last edited by AlexAD; 19-Mar-2011 at 00:11. Reason: New thoughts

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