When to use “on” and when to use “in”

By Maeve Maddox

Nate asks: What are the proper usages of the words “in” and “on” in a sentence? I often confuse the two. Here are some examples: “The boat is in/on the water,” “We are in/on the planet,” “We’re going to the concert in/on July 1st.”

The use of prepositions in English is frequently idiomatic. General guidelines exist, but be prepared to learn individual expressions in which the preposition does not adhere to the guidelines.

In the case of the prepositions in and on, here are the most usual uses.

In

in mainly denotes “rest at”:

PLACE: He lives in the country. He lives in Chicago. (BUT, He lives at 2300 Wabash Ave.)
TIME: I’ll be there in an hour.
MANNER: The child ran down the steps in tears.
REFERENCE: In my opinion we need a referendum. They are happy in their marriage.

On

on indicates proximity and position above or outside:

PLACE: He sat on the fence.
TIME: He was not thinking well on that occasion.
REFERENCE: He asked my opinion on the matter.
CONDITION: We’ll hire him on your recommendation.

The examples given in the question:

We are on the planet.
We are going to the concert on July 1.

But

We are going to the concert in July.

As for the example about the boat, either is correct, according to what is meant:

The boat is in the water. (As opposed to being on dry land for the winter)
The boat is on the water. (Look at all those boats out there on the water!)

However, it would be unidiomatic to say The ship is in the ocean or in the sea, unless you mean that it has sunk. The ship is on the sea.

Related to the question of when to use in is that of when to use into. While in denotes the state of being “at rest” in a place, or at least being (in a sense) surrounded by something, into denotes motion towards:

The dog jumped into the water.
The children (who were already in the water) jumped in the water.

When deciding whether to use in or into, ask yourself if the person or thing you are talking about is moving from one place to another. If so, use into.

More about prepositions in later posts. Stay tuned!

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132 Responses to “When to use “on” and when to use “in””

  • Ramkarthik

    Very good and clear explanation. I never pick up the difference between these words. Now I think I have got it almost. I wish I knew it before itself. At least I would have got 5 more marks in the English Grammar Exercise. Thanks for the post Maeve.

  • Dj Flush

    Honestly Daniel that was one great tip. I myself face the problem of deciding where to use on and where to use in but this post summed it up quite well.

    Thanks a lot

  • temp

    I don’t really get the in/on part for TIME, I must use in if im refeering to a specific time, or for the rest of cases, right?

  • Maeve

    I’m not sure what “temp” is asking. Perhaps a few more TIME expressions will help:
    in a minute
    in twenty minutes
    in two shakes of a lamb’s tail
    in a flash
    on the Fourth of July
    on my birthday
    It may be necessary to memorize the more common usages. As I mentioned in the post, prepositional usage is often idiomatic and difficult to pin down.

  • Sally

    I don’t think I’ve ever been told what a prepositions is. At least I don’t remember.

    Please explain Preposition. Sorry I’m lost at paragraph 2.

  • Daniel

    Sally, prepositions are words that connect nouns and explain their relationship with other words. Here are some examples:

    with
    at
    by
    to
    in
    for
    from
    of
    on

  • Charles

    On an email listserv, someone asked, why do we say:

    “In the Army but on a soccer team
    In a political party but on a staff”

    Any suggestions?

  • Daniel

    “The use of prepositions in English is frequently idiomatic. General guidelines exist, but be prepared to learn individual expressions in which the preposition does not adhere to the guidelines.”

    I am sure if there are any explanations for the cases you mentioned in particular.

  • Jay Wagers

    Prepositions are simple if you understand that they only function to show relationships. Here is how I explain them to my students (college freshmen and sophmores).

    I grab a chair and position myself:

    I can be beside the chair, behind the chair, by the chair, and beyond the chair.

    I can be in front of the chair, in the chair, and on the chair.

    If I have some weird obsession, I could be into the chair.

    I can be under the chair and, if somehow melted together and remade, of the chair.

    If the chair is one if my parents, I am from the chair. However, I could move away from the chair.

    I could walk to the chair. I could stare at the chair. I could move towards the chair.

    I could walk around the chair. I could be above the chair. I could feel certain feelings about the chair.

    I could make many more examples. However, that’s not the point.

    Regarding the question, the word in denotes that the noun is consumed by the object of the preposition . The word on denotes that the noun is above or atop.

  • francesco mapelli

    I still don’t get the

    He was not thinking well on that occasion.

    why is “in” wrong here?

  • Zach Everson

    Great timing–I just heard a clip of Joe Biden on NPR in which he used “on” when he meant “in.”

  • Amy W.

    I’ve never personally experienced any confusion about On and In, but a friend of mine makes me laugh with her usage, which I suspect is dialectic. If she is seated indoors without benefit of chair or other support, she claims to be sitting “in” the floor.

    It always triggers a joke from my husband about a man who is instructed to “Get on the plane.” The man’s response: “Forget that–you get on the plane! I’m getting in the plane.”

  • Roswell Ward

    Is it “We participated in a field trip.” or “We participated on a field trip.”?

  • Maeve

    Roswell,
    “participated in a field trip”
    But you’d “go on a field trip.”

  • Chess

    What about these:
    “We will go to the beach on Monday” or “We will go to the beach Monday”?
    “Monday mom baked a pie” or “On Monday mom baked a pie”?

  • Katty

    Is it: “his picture was on the paper” or “his picture was in the paper”

  • Maeve

    His picture was in the paper. (if the picture was printed in the paper.)

    If a photo just happened to be lying around, it might end up “on the paper”!

  • Annette

    When did the rule about ending the sentence with a preposition change? It’s always been one of my pet peeves (in written word more than spoken) because we learned it was wrong in high school grammar…. but now I’m reading that it’s acceptable?

  • Maeve

    Annette,
    Your question deserves a post of its own. Stay tuned.

  • Fabgrandma

    My question is about using into and in to. When you are talking about someone who has committed a crime, do they turn themselves “into” the police, or in to the police? Is there a difference? The first one always makes me think of the person as a magician.

  • Maeve

    Fabgrandma,
    The wanted persons would turn themselves in to the police.

    They would jump into the water.

    See my article on http://www.dailywritingtips.com/me-myself-and-i/

  • Carlos K

    Hello. I understand the correct forms are “in May” and “on May 3rd”, but I can not decide between “In December 2007” and “On December 2007”.

  • Maeve

    Carlos,
    You would use “on” only if the day as well as the month is specificed:

    Ex.
    I visited Paris in December 2007.

    On December 3 (or “on December 3, 2007”), I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

  • Carlos K

    Thank you very much… I’ll follow that tip.

  • Ram

    My daughter will be going to college in two years from now. Is this grammatically correct. Or the sentence should be without ” in”

  • yoni

    Hi there! I too struggle a lot on how to use “on” and “in” in a sentence,don’t know if “in a sentence is correct”,does it?. Until now I’m still confuse, but at least I know now that it is idiomatic and there is a general guidelines exist on using them.. By the way does anyone knows how to use has, had, and have? I know their meanings but sometimes I just don’t know when to use them, like for example; I have done that or I had done that, I know that “had done that means I already did it, but what about “have done”?Like most of the time people uses “have”even though I think “had” is more appropriate to use beacause they are talking about the past. I hope you guys can contribute facts and ideas towards my inquiries. Like everyone else I like to uprgrade my grammar. Thanks.

  • migs

    how about this: “The motivation for this lies IN the need” or is it “The motivation for this lies ON the need”? (I just capitalized IN and ON to stress my point)

  • toto

    “The wanted persons would turn themselves in to the police.”

    I understand how people get confused as to when to use “into” and “in” here. There shouldn’t be any confusion once you know the verb is “turn in”, not “turn into”? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    They turned themselves in. To whom? To the police. English as a second language here so I could be wrong.

    I too get laughed at at the incorrect usage of “in” and “on”. Even after reading the explanations above, I don’t get them as they don’t make sense all the time for me. Spanish as a first language here.

  • Jm

    Yoni, here is my try. Not a grammar guru though.

    Have = present
    Had = past

    Done = past participle

    1. Hey Mark, have you done what I asked you to do?

    1. Yes Louis, I have done what asked me to do.

    2. Hey Mark, you told me you had (THEN) done what I asked you to do!

    2. Yes silly, I had told you yesterday that I had (THEN) done what you asked me to do. What’s wrong with you man! 🙂

    If you are a Spanish speaker,

    Have = he, has, ha, han, hemos (yo he hecho, conjuga el resto)
    Had = habia, habias, habiamos, habian (yo habia hecho, conjuga el resto)

    Anything I’m getting wrong please let me know.

  • Maeve

    Ram,
    My daughter will be going to college in two years from now.

    You can get away with the “in.” I would omit it and say My daughter will be going to college two years from now.

  • Maeve

    Yoni,
    You asked for help, so I’m going to point out more than one thing here.
    1. “in a sentence” is correct.
    2. I don’t know if “in a sentence” is correct, does it? should be I don’t know if “in a sentence” is correct, is it?
    3. I’m still confuse. (the “ed” is necessary I’m still confused.)
    4. “have” and “had”: the use of these helping verbs to form past tenses is explained: here. The main thing to remember is that “had done” describes an action that took place before some other action in the past. Ex. I had dropped the crate before I heard the warning.

  • Maeve

    Toto,
    Good tip. “turn in” is one of those verb phrases so common in English.

    If one said “The criminal turned himself into the police,” the meaning would be that the crimnal was a shape shifter!

  • Maeve

    Migs
    “The motivation for this lies IN the need.”

  • Maeve

    Jm,
    I have only two comments on your otherwise excellent examples.

    1. Yes Louis, I have done what asked me to do. — I have done what you asked me to do. (just a typo, I expect.)

    2. Yes silly, I had told you yesterday that I had (THEN) done what you asked me to do. — The “had” is not necessary in the first clause: “I told you yesterday that I had done what you asked me to do.”

  • Zan

    use in with bodies of water, use on with surfaces.

  • jm

    Thank you for correcting me Maeve.

  • jm

    I typed a message “in” his website or “on” his website?

  • lavanya

    Hi..

    am still confused abt IN & ON..

    I wrote a test on Arrays. or
    I wrote a test in Arrays.

    Here Arrays is a topic of the subject.

  • Maeve

    lavanya,
    I wrote a test on Arrays. or
    I wrote a test in Arrays.

    Two things-
    In English we say “I took a test.” “I wrote a paper.”
    The test was on Arrays. I wrote a paper on Arrays.
    I took a course in Arrays.

    What the heck is “Arrays”?

  • R. V.

    Please tell me if you say:

    I have a stain on my shirt or I have a stain in my shirt.
    My daughter’s teacher corrected the sentence by putting “in” instead of “on”. I still think it’s “on”.

  • R. V.

    Please tell me if you say:

    I have a stain on my shirt or I have a stain in my shirt.
    My daughter’s teacher corrected the sentence by putting “in” instead of “on”. I still think it’s “on”.

  • Maeve

    R.V.
    You’re correct. The idiom is “I have a stain on my shirt.”

    Is the teacher an American speaker?

  • Jim

    Just checking but I’m correct when I say the following, right?

    Nowadays, you’ll find thinner and lighter notebooks available ON the market.

    This morning, I went downtown and couldn’t find any fresh bass AT the market. [When would you say IN the market?]

    The bank carries heavier losses on its books than we thought.

    In his book, the author writes about his troubled childhood.

    All the material needed to study for the test can be found in this textbook.

  • Maeve

    Jim,
    You could say “I’m in the market for a new car,” i.e., you are considering a purchase.

  • R. V.

    Maeve:

    What is your background? Are you an English teacher by any chance? Thanks for the tip. BTW, the teacher is not an american teacher.

  • R. V.

    BTW, the sentence that my daughter wrote was actually:

    “The stain on my shirt won’t come off”. Would it still be correct to write it that way or to write it this way: “The stain in my shirt won’t come off” ?

  • Maeve

    R.V.
    You’ve got it! English teacher to the core. I’ve taught at every level from beginning reading to university. One of my undergraduate English degrees is from the University of London and I have a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Currently I channel my need to teach into DWT and my own site http://www.AmericanEnglishDoctor.com/ Please drop in.

  • Maeve

    R.V.
    RE: “The stain on my shirt won’t come off”

    In this case it would be possible to say that the stain is IN the shirt, BUT then it would be necessary to say

    “The stain in my shirt won’t come out.”

  • Jim

    Maeve,

    Thanks for answering. Are the rest of the sentences that I wrote correct? What about the following:

    Financial derivatives are becoming more widely used IN the stock market these days.

  • Maeve

    Jim,
    The sentences in your earlier post are correct.

    “Financial derivatives are becoming more widely used IN the stock market these days.” Yes, this use of “in” is also correct.

  • Mike

    What is correct?

    “If you need me, I am in the back or I am at the back?”

    “If you need me, I am in the back of the garbage bin or I am at the back of the garbage bin?”

    “If you need me, I will be in the back or I will be at the back?”

    Thank you.

  • CJ

    REFERENCE: He asked my opinion on the matter.

    IMHO, I think this use is a stretch. I would substitute “about” for “on.”

    He asked my opinion about the matter.

    More and more it seems that writers have forgotten the word “about” and use “on” instead, a rather annoying tendency.

  • junami_pH

    hi!

    Please explain the difference of errands and chores..

    I really find this website very helpful for me especially that I am an english teacher here in the Philippines

  • Jes

    Errands: Getting things done out of the house. Going to the store, going to wash your car, etc. Doing something out of the house.

    Chores: Doing things in the house, like doing laundry, cooking, cleaning the bathroom, paying the bills, etc.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Kathy in RI

    We are going on vacation. We will go in the car, in the camper, in the truck.

    We will go on a plane, on a boat, on a train, on a bus.

    this doesn’t help:
    use in with bodies of water, use on with surfaces.
    nor this: in mainly denotes “rest at”
    on indicates proximity and position above or outside.

    I wonder if it’s because someone else is driving the plane, boat, train or bus. But the vacationer would be driving the car, camper, truck.

    hmmmmm

  • DArren

    The question above is possibly because we have to bend to get in a car ect..
    We can walk on a plane ect…

    That is what I was told anyway..
    Correct me if I am wrong.

    New to this site but willing to help if I can

  • J.C.

    Mike, include more details. This is what I think is the correct usage:

    “If you need me, I am in the back”

    “If you need me, I am in the back of the garbage bin” (if you are inside the garbage bin, in the back of it)

    “If you need me, I will be in the back”

    Anybody please feel free to correct me, if needed.

  • Irshad86

    For further reading

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/594/01/

    Hope this can help 😉

  • Sathish

    Thx a lot..!!! It was very helpful.
    But i am still confused with this sentence below. Reading above i understand both are correct. Correct me if i am wrong. Also please explain.

    Mike is working on billing module.
    Mike is working in billing module.

  • Vinod

    Which is correct
    “the ships sail in the water ”
    or
    “the ships sail on the water”

  • Frank

    I have a doubt. Should we say on October 2008 or in October 2008. I know we use in for months and years (in December, in 2009) but how about the two together. I speak English as a foreign language so I’m not that accurate in using prepositions. :S Thanks for your help

  • ben

    I need your comment because I’m confused what to use “write your answer on the blank” or “write your answer in the blank”

  • Tt

    I love you all for your questions and comments ! Maybe I will finally stop thinking I’m a certified num skull, and that error is human. Please do you say your birthday has passed or past? Which one is right? You get a treat if you got it rigth or if you get it right?

  • Maeve Maddox

    Tt,
    Your birthday has passed.
    BUT
    Your birthday is past.

    Check it out: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/confusing-passed-with-past/

    You get a treat if you get it right. (Spoken before the person takes the test.)
    You get a treat if you got it right. (Spoken after the person has taken the test, but before the test has been graded.)

  • Tt

    Thanks so much Maeve. You are great!

  • pretz

    regarding the use of the word ‘in’ and ‘on’. from this two sentences: the nurse observes a nursing assistant providing care on the medical/surgical unit. can we use the word ‘in’ instead of ‘on’ here. how about this; a patient in the outpatient clinic prioritizes patients for evaluation. again can we use the word ‘on’ here. another sample: a patient suffers from a pulmonary embolism in the recovery room.
    how about the use of has been. the nurse notes that there has been no drainage since the client’s return..is ‘has been’ past tense or what?

  • dingdong

    I am having a hard time here..trying to comprehend if it’s on june 2005 or in june 2005….but this site helped me a great deal ! Realized it should be in june 2005 and it’s on june 23, 2005 or june 3 (with the absence of year, use ON only if the month and date is present)….Thanx a bunch! God bless

  • Rienzi

    ADDITIONAL: There’s a rule of when to use ‘in/on’ when pertaining to what if vehicles are ‘public’ or not. But, I’m not sure if, if you are pertaining to a public vehicle, you would use ‘on’.

    Can someone solve this question?

  • Aziz

    Thank you very much guys.
    You are awesome . I am from Turkey , all that staff is so useful for people who learn English . I like English grammar ,but i confuse prepositions sometimes.
    Thanks a lot.

  • hassy

    which is correct?
    I am in the Uni, ‘at’ the Lab or
    I am in the Uni, ‘in’ the Lab

  • tinecho4ever

    which is correct?

    I will assist my niece in her graduation day or I will assist my niece on her graduation day?

  • s.assassin

    which is right?

    caught on a Wednesday romance
    OR
    caught in a Wednesday romance

  • The Vinery

    Question: More detailed information is available ON appendix A? or More detailed information is available IN appendix A?

  • jess

    hi… i find this site very helpful. here’s mine..

    do we say, “Your hair is in the air” or “Your hair is on the air” ?

    please explain why so? thanks!

    (my guess is it’s… “hair is on the air” ?

  • jess

    RE:
    hi… i find this site very helpful. here’s mine..

    do we say, “Your hair is in the air” or “Your hair is on the air” ?

    please explain why so? thanks!

    (my guess is it’s… “hair is on the air” ?

    i think my guess is incorrect since it sounds odd. 🙁
    perhaps it’s “hair in the air”. i get really confused with these two prep. :-((

  • Cecily

    Re the original post: You suggest “The ship is ON the sea” – seriously, or was that a typo? That sounds at least as weird as many of the other unidiomatic examples you are countering. In BrE, a ship is AT sea and if I’d heard “on the sea” in American literature or films, I’m sure I’d have remembered it.

    @Annette: The “rule” about not ending a sentence with a preoposition never was a real rule in English. It was true in Latin and some people therefore applied it to English as well. Sometimes it is ugly and confusing to end with a preposition and sometimes it’s the best way to express something. It’s style, not grammar.

  • Robert OLIVER

    As a frequent observer of the space industry I get many confusing remarks from people in the USA, for example. They say “on orbit”, I say “in orbit”. Recently I saw an article from NASA titled An event was occurring “in July 7”. Some people in the USA say it my way, some say the other way. What is going ON here????

  • alex

    Is it correct to say “…this request for travel appears in the approved budget plan…” or “…this request for travel appears on the approved budget plan…”

  • Cecily

    @alex: To me, “budget plan” sounds provisional, but you say it’s “approved”, so I’d remove the redundancy and write either “in the approved budget” or “on the approved plan”.

  • Oinky

    Whatever, still confusing.

  • richard

    I am lost here. When a particular tribe/group wants to create a site, for eg: xyz in facebook or xyz on facebook? Please help me out. Many thanks.

  • Herbert Lopez

    if IN means inside something.. why do we say “he was not on the train” instead of “he was not in the train” ?

  • Cecily

    @Herbert: Perhaps because it’s short for “on board”? (That’s just a guess.)

  • Nhoy

    What’s the difference of.. “The cat in the tree” and “The cat on the Tree” ?

  • Elissa

    I will be able to talk to you Saturday
    I will be able to talk to you on Saturday

    Which on is correct?

  • Cecily

    @Elissa: In British English, most people use “on”. However, I don’t think that is the case with AmE as I have heard many Americans omit it.

  • thelma

    I am still confused in using “IN” as a past tense when referring to days or months and “ON” as future tense when referring to days and months or even year.

    please reply.

    thanks,
    thelma

  • Barbara

    We are creating a brochure and would like to know whether to use in or on:

    Receive Fun Miles with every purchase made in the best island.

    or

    Receive Fun Miles with every purchase made on the best island.

    Thanks for your advice!

  • depril

    i’m reaLLy cOnfused of using “IN” and “ON”

    wHen sHouLd i use “IN” and “ON” ??

  • rodrigo i. manuel

    just want to update my knowledge on basic english grammar and writing composition.

  • carlo porticos

    You are such a great help….thank you

  • kirc

    is it ‘in New, Orleans Louisiana,” or ‘at New Orleans, Louisiana’?

  • kaskei

    which is right?

    in a proper way or
    on a proper way?

  • MARYAM NASEER

    I am also confused in the use of ” IN” and ” “ON”. For example if we are writing a sentence ” The university is offering ph.D level research o Biology or IN biology?

  • Miss Popular

    Examples for in/on/at:

    in: in the morning/in the afternoon/ in the evening/ in November (months)/ in summer(seasons)/ in 1992 (yrs).

    on: on Sundays/ on Montay (days of weeks)/ on May 4th (dates)/ on Sunday afternoon.

    at: at 8 o’clock/ at noon/ at midnight/ at Easter/ at Chrismas (occasions)

  • aiko

    can you help me how to use TO and WITH in the sentence??

  • aiko

    can you help me use IN and ON

  • Maria

    What’s right:

    1. Would you like to be speaker A or B in the dialog?
    2. Would you like to be speaker A or B on the dialog?

  • Cecily

    In.

  • jewel

    I’m still kind of confused with the usage of “in” and “on”.
    He’s in/on the plane right now.
    Which one should be used?

  • Fenella

    I think i get the explanation above, but please i need to check with you on this one. Do you put one “in copy” of a mail or you put them “on copy”?

    I always thought the former was correct, but i started working at this new place and everyone, from the CEO down to the clerk say ” please put me ON COPY!! and it really gets on my nerves, but i realise that i need to find have a grammatical reason to back my assertion.

  • Cecily

    I don’t know what country you are in, Fenella, but I’ve never heard either phrase in England. Over here, we say, “send me a copy” or “CC me”. However, in your circumstances, I would do as the CEO does.

  • aliya

    can you tell me which one is correct
    influence of media in our lives
    influence of media on our lives

  • Phat

    I am writing the proposal, but I confuse how to use “in” or “on”
    in the topic “A study of IT (in or on) Thai website)

  • Iain Ewart

    How about this wee observation. The use of ‘in’ and ‘on’ CAN relate to size – You travel IN a car (small) but ON a train (large ), sail IN a boat (small ) but ON a ship (large), you holiday IN a country(large) but ON an island (small ). I suppose that this will serve to merely confuse people even further !

  • christi ***

    but what about weather?what do you use?is it in or on?

  • Enrique

    Is correct to say “Call from contact not registered on twitter”

    thanks

  • Petes

    I still get terribly confused by that :/

  • Rachel

    Yes, thankyou. It really helped me alot. 🙂

  • Pamela

    I wish this website could help me in my upcoming exam. 🙂

  • Jack

    Im helping my daughter on her assignments right now. But it comes to a point where I couldn’t identify which one is proper to use:

    Working in Cebu

    or

    Working at Cebu

    I actually told here that she can just use either of the two. But somehow, I feel one is more appropriate.

    Can anybody enlighten me on this please?
    Thanks.

  • fares mgona

    am also comfused the uses of IN and ON.what is the principal of using these words.

  • troy

    i learned a lot by reading all of your “in” and “on” queries and answers.because i too have this kind of problem.So thanks a lot Guys.Keep it going.

  • Riene Tagupa

    Thanks a lot for this piece of very informative tip. It is very helpful.

  • cuda

    Which one is correct, On the same day or In the same day?

  • Tamim

    I often confused with “for” vs “on”. For example, “leave on the occasion” or “Leave for the occasion”? “Algorithm for distributed computing” or “Algorithm on distributed computing”? Thank in advance.

  • Natasha

    I searched this page to only know that when I say month & day I use on. But if only month, use in. Thank you !!

  • Sphiwe

    Hi ..

    this page is very useful , english is my third language so i find it very difficult sometimes to use in and on. I send a lot of emails and reports on my current job ..

    do you guys know of any corporate or business english books ?

  • Ebuka

    This is good…bt stil nid more explanations with at ,on,in

  • Ahmed

    This article helped me a lot. But, my confusion is when to use “in” or “on” with the following:

    There is an adjustment in remittances of the staff.

    …adjustment in Trial Balance.

    correction(s) on/in loans or savings of our staff.

    I really need an answer and I hope you can help me. For your info, I usually send emails and text messages to my colleagues informing them about the adjustments or corrections in their reports, so it would be beneficial for me to have a clear message with correct grammar.

    Thanks.

  • nix

    when should i use in or at?

    ex. im watching spongebob in/at nickelodeon?

    im still confuse..

  • Prasad

    I too bungle up my write-ups every time I confront this situation.
    …originated in the land or
    …originated on the land

  • faith

    Thanks for the proper usage of in and on .But can u please help me to understand well how to use in and on ? Because frankly speaking,sometimes i was confused how to used that !

    I hope you will help me.
    Thank you and God speed!

  • Lucía

    I have a question
    Is it correct to say San Francisco is on the West Coast of The United States or is it San Francisco is in the West Coast of The United States??

    Please help me

  • Maddy

    What is the logic behind statements like “sitting in a car/taxi” and “sitting on a bus”? Any grammar rule to say so? If yes please do share.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Jose G Medina

    Hi there:
    Thanks for the explanation, but what about, in/on a car or a train, or an airplane, or a motorcycle?

  • Jamie

    Hi. I’m still a bit confused on the use of “in” and “on”.

    Which is correct;
    What will you do in winter vacation?
    or
    What will you do on winter vacation?

  • Yassar

    I’m a little bit confused on the use of “in” and “on” at the same time. Take for example: 1. He will continue to linger on in darkness. 2. i don’t want any unprofessional doctor to be in on my case.

  • Howard

    What will you do on winter vacation.

    On –> the scope is “upcoming”
    In –> the scope is “during”

  • Ritu

    Which is correct
    Assembly would be conducted in the back lawn.
    Or
    Assembly would be conducted on the back lawn.

  • Rolf Lange

    When referring to reports that contain maps and figures, is it correct to say: “As shown in Figure 3” or “As shown on Figure 3”?

  • Mari

    I, sometimes, confuse the utilization of prepositions, but it is not because I do not know how to use them; it is rather a questioning of my proficiency with English as a second language. In my every day routine, I notice major grammatical errors committed by native English speakers, and tend to double and triple check myself. Posters such as these, help me to reinforce my understanding of the English lexicon and clarify any questions I may have. As a foreigner, I try harder than the rest to perfect my written and spoken English. Many thanks!

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