use of on and in

mridula   Tuesday, May 25, 2004, 09:40 GMT
Why do we say 'in a helicopter' but 'on a plane'; 'in a boat' but 'on a ship';'in a car' but ' on a bus'? this is a confusion i can't find an answer to.
Mighty Mick   Thursday, May 27, 2004, 08:22 GMT
There is no answer :)
You have to memorise these prepositions, like in French as with many other languages. (or had the chance of growing up with the language)
mridula   Thursday, May 27, 2004, 12:31 GMT
what a confusion with surface and enclosed space. as a teacher of english most of my adult learners keep asking these questions and prepositions and phrasal verbs leave them bemused.
thankyou mike. you have made me feel better as i too thought there was no rule behind that usage.
Jeff   Saturday, May 29, 2004, 03:30 GMT
English teachers try to explain what has no explanation,
you have to memorize to use at, on and in,
Frank   Tuesday, June 01, 2004, 06:45 GMT
I was an Enlgish teacher for foreigners for more than 7 years.
When my students came up with the question "When do you use at, in and on?" I always told them to learn the particular cases BY HEART. The solution is to listen to a lot of Enlgish so that you develop the feeling of what is / isn't correct. I used to tell them that learning any rule for these prepositions was not really helpful, since the cases in which they are used are many times contradictory.
Dulcinea del Toboso   Friday, June 04, 2004, 18:31 GMT
Exactly. Each case has to be learned individually. Many languages, such as Russian, are the same way in their use of prepositions.
Emmanuel   Monday, June 07, 2004, 04:48 GMT
Love is in the air.
Radio is on the air.

Check in your brain, not on your head.

The men are tough.
The women are fine.

Dha men ar tuf.
Dha wimmin ar fein.
Jim   Monday, June 07, 2004, 04:50 GMT
"Love Is In The Air" is on the radio.
Immanuel or Emmanuel   Monday, June 07, 2004, 04:55 GMT
On: means like above or about something working with.

In: means interior, not exterior or in the space of something although plain or flat.
Jim   Monday, June 07, 2004, 05:11 GMT
Emmanuel   Monday, June 07, 2004, 05:17 GMT
I'm not a dictionary. I just guess with my own words about.
jajat   Monday, June 07, 2004, 06:30 GMT
Yes, it is always difficult to learn preposition, because there are a lot of exceptions.