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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Post in/on bed

    I am confused when to use on the bed and in the bed. I am reading a book which has in and on for almost the same kind of sentences.Can both be used here? Please help.

    He lay on the bed.

    He still lay in bed thinking.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: in/on bed

    You can be lying on a bed - on top of the bedclothes,

    OR

    You can be lying in bed - underneath the bedclothes.

  2. Amigos4's Avatar
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      • American English
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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    #3

    Re: in/on bed

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    You can be lying on a bed - on top of the bedclothes,

    OR

    You can be lying in bed - underneath the bedclothes.
    Anglika is correct. However, common usage allows 'in bed' to be used whether the individual is lying on top of the bedding or under the bedding. Example: Question: "Where is the baby?" Answer: "Oh, he's in bed."

    Cheers,
    Amigos4


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: in/on bed

    Sorry, Amigos - not to me. A baby in bed will be under the bedclothes. A baby lying on top of a bed is on a bed.

  3. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #5

    Re: in/on bed

    Actually, I think the distinction is less where you are in relation to the bedclothes, and more to do with why you are there at all.

    If you are there in order to sleep or because you are ill, you are "in bed". Otherwise you are "on the bed".

    That probably explains amigos4's baby. It may not have been tucked in, but it has probably been placed there in order to have a nap.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #6

    Re: in/on bed

    Oddly, I am finding this difficult. To me it is perfectly clear that if you are in bed, then you are under the bedclothes, and that if you are on the bed you are not.

    A baby in bed is tucked up in bed, not on the bed.

    Sleeping or illness are irrelevancies. It is the relationship of being within the covers or not with within the covers. If I read a book, lying on the bed, the concept to me is of lying on top of the bed. If I read a book in bed, then I am under the covers.

    The original questioner did not really provide enough context to know what exactly the author is saying.

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