In vs On

When do you use in and on?

“container” vs “platform”

IN = Container

→ a container is an enclosed space where something is placed. I put my books in my bag. I have a TV in my room. I read a chapter in a book. I ride in an elevator. 

ON = Platform

→ A platform is a surface where we can place people or objects. For example, we can put a book on the table. My girlfriend gets angry when my socks are on the floor or on the ground. I ride on the escalator.

The “can you stand” test for vehicles!

Not sure which word to use for vehicles? Use this test!

I can stand:

  • on a plane
  • on a train
  • on a bus
  • on a boat (large boat)
  • on a bike
  • on a skateboard

I cannot stand:

  • in a car
  • in a helicopter
  • in a boat (small boat or canoe)


Can you write a sentence using in or on?

Mark Schenker

Originally from the United States, Mark has been teaching English abroad for the past five years. He worked in Japan before moving to Singapore. He loves learning new languages and takes pride in helping English Language Learners.

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