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    #1

    sit on

    I normally hear "sit on a chair", but can we say "sit in a chair"? Is there any difference?

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    #2

    Re: sit on

    Start by looking at the last of the Similar Threads below.

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: sit on

    Thanks.
    I checked that post, and according to that one, "on" is the normal preposition for a chair, hence "sit on a chair".
    But I found an example in Longman Dictionary, where they use "in" for a chair! Quite confusing.

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    #4

    Re: sit on

    Have a look again at post #2 by Tdol.

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    #5

    Re: sit on

    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, English4everyone:

    You have asked a really ( = very) difficult question. Really! ( = Believe me!)

    I do not have any answers -- just a few thoughts for you to consider:

    1. This may be an idiomatic matter. That is, the "correct" answer may depend on which English-speaking country

    you are in or even in what part of that country!

    2. I personally get the sense that the less comfortable you are, the more likely you are to use "on":

    All the people were sitting on metal chairs. (Compare: on a bench, a stool, the steps)

    3. I would personally say "All the students were sitting quietly in their chairs." I assume that the students are

    feeling comfortable -- even though many chairs in American schools have no arms.



    4. I personally get the sense that the more formal you are, the more likely you are to use "on":

    "These are the chairs that the ambassadors sat on when they were discussing ways on how to end the war."

    5. I am a bus rider. I often notice that when someone boards the bus and sees two empty seats, that selfish and

    ill-mannered person will immediately sit in the aisle seat, thus leaving the window seat unoccupied and making it

    difficult for another passenger to get to that seat. (I would definitely use "in" in that sentence. I think that a bus

    seat more or less "encloses" you.)


    Sincerely yours,


    James

    P.S. When I was young, most people, I think, said "on my lap." I have noticed a movement toward "in my lap" in recent years. Just as "in the elevator" has, I think, defeated "on the elevator."

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    #6

    Re: sit on

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    Thanks.
    I checked that post, and according to that one, "on" is the normal preposition for a chair, hence "sit on a chair".
    But I found an example in Longman Dictionary, where they use "in" for a chair! Quite confusing.
    Don't get too confused- there are many cases where you can use more than one preposition. In the case of the dictionary definition, I would take it to mean a chair with arms. Chairs by fires often have arms- they are places to relax.

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