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What is one to say about June? The time of perfect young summer, the fulfilment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.

Gertrude Jekyll
A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.
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BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Prepositions are one of the most hated parts of speech. Even experienced writers are sometimes uncomfortable using them. Often people are confused with similar prepositions particularly the prepositions IN and ON.

More often than not, either IN or ON can be grammatically correct. It entirely depends what you really mean in your statements.

Here are some few guidelines on how to use these two most commonly misused prepositions:

It is advisable to use IN when you are indicating a position for spaces with limitations. IN is used to convey that something is contained or inside. For example,

– The bee is in the beehive.
– The mail in the mailbox.
– The file is in the disk.

Alternatively, ON is used to denote a position for surfaces or a position just above or outside an area. Example,

– The book is placed on the table.
– Charlie sat on the stool.
– Jane had a tattoo on his arm.

IN is used to denote a moment enclosed in time. It is therefore used with other parts of the day, with months, with years, with seasons. Some examples of these are,

– I like to drink coffee in the morning.
– Andrea’­s wedding is in October.
– A lot of terrorist activities happened in 2001.
– The flowers will bloom in spring.

ON is used with days and dates. Also, it may be used in special parts of the day and special holidays. Distinctively, ON is used when you do not enclose something — time included ñ it is with relative specificity.

– I’ll see you on Friday!
– My retirement is effective on June 23.
– The event happened on the morning of January 14.
– We look for colourful eggs on Easter Sunday.

ON is used with street names. Conversely, IN is used with names of cities, towns, provinces, states, and countries.

– I’m on Elm street, meet me here Freddie.
– Jiu-jitsu is big in Brazil.
– There are so many celebrities in California!

There are some special considerations of using these two prepositions and it would be best to learn them from experience.


1. IN is used when you are referring something enclosed by limitations while using IN is relatively specific and does not denote anything enclosed.
2. IN is used to denote a location of something inside a space while on generally, denotes something above a surface or within proximity.
3. Whether it is used with place or time, normally, IN is general as compared to the specific implications of ON.

Read more: Difference Between IN and ON | Difference Between | IN vs ON http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-in-and-on/#ixzz3ufSHtw00


  • mehra926mehra926 Posts: 1
    Nice explanation.....Thanks
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @mehra926 Hi. Nice to see you. :)
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ✭✭✭
    @Bubbly good advise, tks!
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,037 mod
    Add the preposition "at" for a place too, to make it more complicated.
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,186 mod
    edited December 2015
    Not strictly correct. Everyone I know says, "The file is on the disk", but it is "in the folder, on the disk". I think it's because disks are flat.
  • JanatJanat Posts: 125 ✭✭
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @Lynne I still doubt that there are certain grammatical rules in English are clear about the usage of in and out.
  • HakanHakan Posts: 13 ✭✭
    thank you!
  • YinYin Posts: 191 ✭✭
    Very useful @Bubbly , i always find perposition very difficult.
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @Yin same here. :)
  • FerFer Posts: 144 ✭✭
    Thank you @Bubbly
  • caueconceicaocaueconceicao Posts: 11 ✭✭
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 667 mod
    @Csilla - here is some more information about IN and ON :) Just to confuse you more!
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @NatashaT Exactly! the more we know, the more we get confused. :)
  • pryfllwydpryfllwyd The AnthropocenePosts: 1,405 mod
    This is slightly forced but perfectly correct -
    "Sorry to butt in on your discussion here but I wanted to see what was going on in the forum."

    You have to get a feel for prepositions - there is little or no logic to it.
  • PoppyPoppy Posts: 12 ✭✭
    no rules just talk with your mouth! LOL
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 0 ✭✭✭
    It is an eternal fight inside me: "In or On in this situation?" hahaha
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2016
    @Poppy @joncunha This is really a tug of war that takes your brain either in the sky or on the floor. ;)
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,299 ✭✭✭
    > @NatashaT said:
    > @Csilla - here is some more information about IN and ON :) Just to confuse you more!

    Thank you Natasha! :)
  • chyijungchyijung Posts: 2,041 ✭✭✭✭
    Can anyone explain to me why "in" is being used in the lyric
    " I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes."

    Can I use "with" or "by" instead?
    This is really confusing me.
  • JanatJanat Posts: 125 ✭✭
    @chyijung using in is right not with.
  • SbaiAyoubSbaiAyoub Posts: 18 ✭✭
    this is helpful, I real have a big problem using those prepositions , thank you bubbly
  • leonardobrleonardobr Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Thanks, great explanation
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 9,186 mod
    @chyijung - It's like having butterflies in your stomach. (You don't need to take it literally.)
  • OwariusOwarius Posts: 19 ✭✭
    Thanks a lot, this post is very helpful to me :)
  • navidafrasiabiannavidafrasiabian Posts: 1,284 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have to go back to Isfahan on Friday.My friend has gone in January 19.
  • navidafrasiabiannavidafrasiabian Posts: 1,284 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Do you have a tattoo on your arm @Glorian ?! ;)
  • navidafrasiabiannavidafrasiabian Posts: 1,284 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I always keep my money in bank.It is the best way to protect your money.
    Do you have a bank account @Bubbly ?!
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 30,007 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @navidafrasiabian keeping money in a bank is a safe option and I use it. :)
  • GlorianGlorian Posts: 1,251 ✭✭✭✭
    Yes I have, you think it is weird @navidafrasiabian?
This discussion has been closed.