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    #1

    prepostions of place

    Hi,

    Is this preposition 'on' correct in this sentence?
    All my data are missing on my hardrive disk.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: prepostions of place

    I would refer to data on a memory stick. That sounds okay to me.

    {not a teacher}

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    #3

    Re: prepostions of place

    You can store your data on hard drives/disks.

    [I am not a teacher]

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    #4

    Re: prepostions of place

    can you please explain further why must it be 'on'?

    thanks

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: prepostions of place

    Prepositions are very idiomatic. To quote another ELS forum user, that means "we say them that way simply because we say them that way."

    There is little logic to why we would say "in a car" but "on a bus" -- so we say "on your memory stick" or "on your hard drive" instead of "in your memory stick."

    What other prepositions makes sense to you there?


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    #6

    Re: prepostions of place

    What you want to say is: missing from

    The data is missing from the hard drive/The data are missing from the hard drive.

    or

    The data on the hard drive went missing on Sunday.

    Missing+on is used with a specific date/day
    Missing+from means location

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    #7

    Re: prepostions of place

    just a student.

    I have a theory why people say 'on' to refer to a device that retains information.
    in the early ages of the English language, I think there was only paper to store information.
    given that it's a 2d device, people correctly used the preposition 'on'.
    of course it couldn't be 'in the paper' for a paper is a flat and extremely thin thing.
    as new communication means came up, 'on' continued to be the proposition of choice.
    and that's why people say 'on the radio', 'on the TV', 'on the phone', and so 'on'.
    a silly theory, of course.

    just a student.
    Last edited by jctgf; 10-Jun-2009 at 23:34.


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    #8

    Re: prepostions of place

    Barb_D: There is little logic to why we would say "in a car" but "on a bus"

    Barb, I would disagree with you on this, but regarding modes of transportation. I discovered a fairly consistent rule. Look at the vehicles we say we are in:

    in a car, in a helicopter, in a van, in a canoe, in a tank, in a hot-air balloon, etc.

    vs the vehicles we are "on":

    on an airplaine, on a yacht, on a bus, etc

    It seems to me that in these cases, the size is important, and when something feels confined/small, we use "in" whereas if it is large, we say "on"

    Take a boat. If it is a huge boat, fitting many people, I would say to you "get on the boat," but if it were a small boat, only fitting 5 or 6, I would tell you to "get in the boat."

    Just something I've thought too much about over the years :)

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    #9

    Re: prepostions of place

    Can someone please tell me which of the following sentences are correct?

    1) I have installed a new CD-ROM on my machine.
    2) I have installed a new CD-ROM in my machine.


    3) I have installed Word-2007 on my machine.
    4) I have installed Word-2007 in my machine.

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    #10

    Re: prepostions of place

    I'm not sure about the CD - does it physically go inside the "box" of the computer?

    For the software, I'd definitely say "on" my machine.

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