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Thread: on and in

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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Malayalam
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 223

    on and in

    Even though they use more or less the same kind of language, American English speaks of living on Maddison Street and British English of living in Maddison Street. Why can't they even agree upon the use of a simple preposition like this?
    PS: Let us suppose that there a street named Hurly Burly Street in the United States. Should a British traveller who is touring the United States say that he is meeting a friend on Hurly Burly Street in the afternoon?
    Now that I am Indian which rules of English grammar should I follow? British or American? Should I use on when I am talking about the United States and in when I am talikng about England? I am wondering whether I should stick to one of these forms or whether I should use both throughout whenever I happen to write or speak English.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: on and in

    First reaction - why on earth should they? There are two different languages evolving. Some might argue that British English must be correct, since the language originated in Britain, but American English has been evolving along its own lines for over 300 years. Some usages are in fact old usages that have been lost in British English.

    Second - use whichever you think will be understood. On the whole I do not think in spoken English people lay too much emphasis on this kind of difference. If you meet a look of incomprehension, then try the alternative.


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