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    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 468
    #1

    How to use "in/on +v-ing" properly

    I would be much grateful if you could tell me what is the correct usage of "in" and "on". In both Longman Dictioanry and Cobuild's, their respective definitions seem to be contradictory, which has been baffling me a lot:

    in +v-ing
    Longman: when; while.
    In studying other cultures, you can learn more about your own.

    Cobuild:
    to indicate that when you do something, something else happens as a result.
    e.g.
    He shifted uncomfortably on his feet. In doing so he knocked over Steven's briefcase.

    on/upon +v-ing (formal)
    Longman: according to; directly after (and often as a result of)(Here, the definition seems to be that of "in" given by Cobuild above.)
    e.g.
    acting on your advice,
    On hearing the news, she burst into tears.

    Cobuild:
    You use "on" when mentioning an event that was followed by another one.(Again, the definition here seems to be that of "in" given by Longman above.)
    e.g.
    She waited in her hotel to welcome her children on their arrival from London.
    On reaching Dubai the evacuees are taken straight to Dubai international airport.
    Last edited by Deepurple; 09-Dec-2008 at 09:10.

  1. mkss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2008
    • Posts: 69
    #2

    Thumbs up Re: How to use "in/on +v-ing" properly

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    I would be much grateful if you could tell me what is the correct usage of "in" and "on". In both Longman Dictioanry and Cobuild's, their respective definitions seem to be contradictory, which has been baffling me a lot:

    in +v-ing
    Longman: when; while.
    In studying other cultures, you can learn more about your own.

    Cobuild:
    to indicate that when you do something, something else happens as a result.
    e.g.
    He shifted uncomfortably on his feet. In doing so he knocked over Steven's briefcase.

    on/upon +v-ing (formal)
    Longman: according to; directly after (and often as a result of)(Here, the definition seems to be that of "in" given by Cobuild above.)
    e.g.
    acting on your advice,
    On hearing the news, she burst into tears.

    Cobuild:
    You use "on" when mentioning an event that was followed by another one.(Again, the definition here seems to be that of "in" given by Longman above.)
    e.g.
    She waited in her hotel to welcome her children on their arrival from London.
    On reaching Dubai the evacuees are taken straight to Dubai international airport.




    These definitions are not contradictory because you have to understand them by analysing their grammatical structure:

    Here, the sentence introduced by 'In doing....' is the one that describes what happened as a result of the first sentence ('He shifted unco.....')
    "Cobuild:
    to indicate that when you do something, something else happens as a result.
    e.g.
    He shifted uncomfortably on his feet. In doing so he knocked over Steven's briefcase. "


    But, in what follows, the clause introduced by 'on' (On hearing the news) is what 'happens first' and 'she burst into tears"happens 'directly after (and often as a result of hearing the news)"

    "on/upon +v-ing (formal)
    Longman: according to; directly after (and often as a result of)(Here, the definition seems to be that of "in" given by Cobuild above.)
    e.g.
    acting on your advice,
    On hearing the news, she burst into tears."

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