English Grammar

What is the difference between In and On/comparison table

Together with the preposition at, in and on they are the most used in the English language. All three are prepositions of place and time. When they are translated, the prepositions “en” or “a” are often used, which is why their distinction and that of their use is complicated for those who do not speak English as their first language. However, there are a number of guidelines and conditions to be taken into account to know when will be used in and at what time on . What is the difference between In and On?

Comparison table What is the difference between In and On?

On
In
In Spanish On is translated with the prepositions “a” or “en”. In the same way, in is translated as “a” or “in.”
Rules of use On is used to refer to specific and small questions.

It is also used when one wants to indicate the position of something that is in a straight line or on a straight surface.

  • You can spread that huge poster on the main table.

When giving an address, if it is inside a building.

  • You can find Carla’s apartment on the second floor of that old building.

To say that something is on or on top of something else.

  • I left the keys on the counter.
  • Can anyone explain me why is there old food on the table?

In the same way it is used to talk about special days, such as Christmas or a birthday.

  • Mom said uncle Roy would visit us in Thanksgiving.

To talk about a specific day of the week.

  • I do ballet on Fridays.

Also to talk about a specific part of the body.

  • She has a beauty spot on her right arm.

Finally, it is used to talk about a means of transport.

  • She’s traveling on train, she doesn’t like flying.
On the other hand, in is used when referring to larger, more general questions. Also to refer to three-dimensional positions.

This means that something that is located in a place surrounded by things.

  • Those bears live in the forest.

Also, it is used to say that something is located within a closed space.

  • She locked herself in her bedroom.

When an object is located inside another object.

  • I keep my earrings in that jewelry box he gave me.

To refer to cities or countries.

  • She lives in Surrey, England.

Also to refer to long periods of time (months, seasons of the year, years, decades and centuries).

  • Back in the 19th century women weren’t allowed many things they are allowed nowadays.
  • She is coming in December.

Finally, it is used to talk about the parts of the day (morning, afternoon and night).

  • Dad said we’d play in the afternoon.

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