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Jul 18, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner

please tell me when we say my shirt is lying in the cupboard, on the fourth shelf at the front. i do understand the prposition in and on here but at is little confusing. such as we say that we are walking on the beach but playing in the sand even this is also part of beach then why not playing on the sand. these prepositional use is very much confusing. please help me out in this regard. i shall be thankful. bye


VIP Member
Sep 6, 2007
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
Home Country
Current Location
Use on when you are talking about a surface.

Ex: I'm walking on [the surface of] the road.
Ex: I am on sleeping on [the surface of] the beach.
Ex: I am surfing on [the surface of the water].

Use in when you are talking about inside of something.

Ex: I am walking in the water.
Ex: I am walking in the sand.
Ex: My shirt is in the closet and it's hanging on [the surface of] the wire hanger.

Transportation is a bit different:

Ex: Get in[side] a bus, plane, a small boat.
Ex: Get on[board] a bus, a plane, a ship, a bike.

Cars and taxis:

Ex: Get in the car, the taxis.

Never, *get on the car, the taxi. That means get on top of the vehicle.

Does that help?

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