prepositions

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Hi there,

at the bottom, on the bottom, at the back, in the back, what is the right situation to use each of them?

Thanks!

Ellen
 

RonBee

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Commentary.

efeng said:
at the bottom, on the bottom, at the back, in the back, what is the right situation to use each of them?

The first two (at the bottom, on the bottom) seem to me to be pretty much interchangeable. Something that is "in the back" of something is inside it. Something that is in the back of the bus is in the bus. Something that is in the back of the store is in the store. "At the back" seems to indicate direction.

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Tdol

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At the bottom of the pile
On the bottom of the jar
 

RonBee

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English usage.

"On the bottom of the jar" -- 1,040 (appx)
"at the bottom of the jar" -- 931 (appx)
(Courtesy of Google)

"The original tag is still in place on the bottom of the jar."
http://www.woodlandfarmsantiques.com/vanitytable/vanityindex.html

"Since the water is cold, if we let the jar sit for awhile,
there will be a little sugar down on the bottom of the jar."
http://spikesworld.spike-jamie.com/...c121 09 do all solids dissolve in liquid.html

"In this experiment, the children will lower a straw into clay placed
at the bottom of the jar that has colored water in it."
http://www.iit.edu/~smile/ch9407.html

"Mandibles unfolded themselves from just below the thing's eyes, and began to scrape at the bottom of the jar methodically."
http://fallenearth.org/blogs/knutaf/archives/001706.html

Usage rules here. The two phrases generally have somewhat different meanings, but there might be times when one could be used for the other.

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Tdol

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Good point- I was only thinking of the outside. ;-(
 
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