read in bed/ work in bed/ etc.

GeneD

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Does "being in bed" mean mainly "being asleep", or are there any other activities (besides "being in bed with someone" :)), for instance, "reading/ working in bed using a laptop/ etc."? And is it possible to say "in the bed", or should it be "on the bed"? What difference would the presence of the definite article convey?
He reads in bed. or He reads (lying) on the bed.
He works in bed. or He works (lying) on the bed.

Which is appropriate? Or is there a more suitable way to express it?
 
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Rover_KE

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'... being in bed' only means being located on that piece of furniture covered by at least one sheet/blanket/quilt/duvet.

You can't infer that the occupant of the bed is sleeping, working, texting, tweeting, reading, enjoying an amorous encounter or anything else.
 

GeneD

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'... being in bed' only means being located on that piece of furniture covered by at least one sheet/blanket/quilt/duvet.
There is an example in the grammar book I'm using ("English Grammar in Use" by Raymond Murphy) that confuses me: "I sat down on the bed (a specific piece of furniture)". What's the difference between "being in bed" and "being on the bed"?
 

emsr2d2

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With "in", you are enclosed in/by something. If you are "in bed", you are lying down and you are under the sheet/duvet/blanket. If you are on the bed, you are either sitting on the edge or you could be lying down but on top of the sheet/duvet/blanket.
 
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