Which should it be? "In" or "On" the premises? For example, is it "No smoking is allowed on the premises" or "No smoking is allowed in the premises"?
No smoking is allowed on the premises. That is to say, No smoking is allowd in the building.
I wonder why two different prepositions are used to express a silimlar idea here. Would some experts shed more light? Thanks.
Buildings can be thought of as large containers, which is why in is used.
Premises is an area of land, including any buildings that might be on it, so on is used.
If no smoking is allowed in the building, you might be able to go outside to smoke. If no smoking is allowed on the premises, you would not be able to smoke in the building or right outside.