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Thread: go in/on a boat

  1. #1
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    go in/on a boat

    Hello,
    How to distinguish what the sentence mean? Is it always necessary to have a context?
    "He went in a boat"
    It could mean that he was on the land and than he get into/in the boat.
    Also, it could mean that he went over the ocean (by sea) in a boat. (He went by sea, being in a boat)

  2. #2
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    Re: go in/on

    Quote Originally Posted by yakor View Post
    Hello,
    How to distinguish what the sentence mean? Is it always necessary to have a context?
    Yes
    "My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way." - Ernest Hemingway

  3. #3
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    Re: go in/on

    Quote Originally Posted by sdgraham View Post
    Yes
    In most cases it is really true. No context-no understanding. But I thought that in case of "go in something" it is easy to say what it means.
    It seems that I was wrong. "Go in something" could mean two things. "Get into something" and "go being in something".

  4. #4
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    Re: go in/on

    "He went in a boat" = He went by boat
    "He went in a boat" = He entered a boat"

    If you use the correct words, your meaning will be clear.
    "There are no rules in English, only guidance. Some guidance looks like a rule; it probably isn't."

  5. #5
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    Re: go in/on

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulQ View Post


    If you use the correct words, your meaning will be clear.
    You mean that the phrases "get into" in sense of "enter" and "Go in a boat" in sense of "go by boat" is not appropriate?

  6. #6
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    Re: go in/on

    Quote Originally Posted by yakor View Post
    Hello,
    How to distinguish what the sentence mean?
    "He went in a boat"
    It could mean that he was on the land and than he get into/in the boat.
    Also, it could mean that he went over the ocean (by sea) in a boat. (He went by sea, being in a boat)
    Quote Originally Posted by yakor View Post
    You mean that the phrases "get into" in sense of "enter"
    No, I mean go in/into in the sense of "enter". Of course, it depends how big the boat is as to whether you would get on it or in/into it.
    and "Go in a boat" in sense of "go by boat" is not appropriate?
    What I meant was that your original question was about the distinction between the meanings of "He went in a boat."

    The use of "He went in a boat." is fine, but if you want to have no confusion or ambiguity, then "He went by boat" / "He entered a boat" should be used.
    "There are no rules in English, only guidance. Some guidance looks like a rule; it probably isn't."

  7. #7
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    Re: go in/on

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulQ View Post
    "He went by boat" / "He entered a boat" should be used.
    You mean that "He went(goes) in a boat" could mean two cases.
    1)He went by boat=He went being in a boat.
    2)He went (goes) into a boat.

  8. #8
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    Re: go in/on a boat

    It was clearly explained in post #2 that you need context. That's also explained in the The Longer Guide to English Only where it says
    What we do in the English Only forum

    We answer specific questions about words or phrases in a complete sentence with context and background in a respectful, helpful and cordial manner.
    There's also Rule 1. You should try using the search facility to look for in on boat.

    This thread is closed.

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